Woodward blasts English rugby chiefs

LONDON: Clive Woodward, England's World Cup-winning rugby union coach, says he quit the job because the national sport's chiefs failed to continue giving him the backing he needed to keep the side at the top. 

At a news conference in London, Woodward said he would not be working in any other capacity except as British Lions coach for their tour of New Zealand until July 2005. 

He ruled out an immediate move into soccer with Premier League club Southampton as had been mooted in the British media. 

“Before the World Cup I felt totally in control but virtually from the moment I touched down in the aircraft I felt out of control,” he said citing lack of preparation time for the England team as a big factor in his decision to resign. 

“I got back and found myself going through the same old meetings and the same old people. I found that quite staggering.” 

His place as England coach will be taken until early-season fixtures against Canada, South Africa and Australia in November by Andy Robinson, who had worked in Woodward's coaching team for four years. 

England won the World Cup for the first time last November, beating hosts Australia in the final after extra-time. – Reuters 

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