Clive Woodward

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Mark McCall celebrates Saracens’ Champions Cup win. Photograph: David Davies/PA

It has been a long time since the Rugby Football Union trusted anyone from a high-profile English club side to coach its national team. In theory the (...)

Ireland’s muted celebrations after  Conor Murray secured a bonus point against Italy. The body language of the Irish team in Rome was telling. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

England remain the only northern hemisphere country to have won the Rugby World Cup, and their 2003 success is therefore seen as something of a templa(...)

 Ireland’s Conor Murray in action against Scotland. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

No hurry for Murray The Conor Murray problem is exacerbated by the fact it is Conor Murray. When a scrumhalf suffers a dip in form – like Aaron Smith(...)

Joe Schmidt: “We were very quiet before the game. I didn’t sense the same energy levels I would have in November when the All Blacks came.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Psychological warfare is an Eddie Jones delicacy, all the way back to 2003 when he haunted Clive Woodward’s England up until Jonny Wilkinson intervene(...)

England’s Jonny May scores their first try despite the attempted tackle of Garry Ringrose during the  Six Nations match at the Aviva stadium. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Only 90 seconds in and Jonny May was punching the air in celebration after his try and you sensed the afternoon/evening ahead might be quite a lengthy(...)

Robbie Henshaw: England will target Ireland’s fullback who hasn’t played in the specialised position for club or country in four years. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

England perform at their best when there is blood dripping off their chins from a swollen nose that has just been joyously smacked. In last year’s ch(...)

Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell dictates defensive outcomes that evolve long before the final tackle. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Forget the Eddie Jones one-liner but do focus on his bottom line. He has coached England 35 times and has a Grand Slam and win percentage of 80 per ce(...)

John Mitchell talks to the England players during a training session last year. Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Bravo John Mitchell. Barely a nanosecond in the job and Irish rugby is, in a few choice sound bites, one of the “best teams in the world” and will “bo(...)

Andy Farrell: “As for England missing out on a brilliant homegrown coach, I am almost filled with despair,” wrote former World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

A hike out from London city, the wooded Pennyhill Park Hotel was England’s 120 acre, 2015 World Cup bolthole. Nestled into the folds of suburban Surr(...)

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton is interviewed before the World Rugby awards ceremony in Monte-Carlo. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Sexton has been crowned World Rugby Player of the Year on a night of sweeping success for Ireland. Joe Schmidt scooped the coach of the year a(...)

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