Home England Sir Clive Woodward doubts Bill Sweeney’s competence to select next men’s coach

Sir Clive Woodward doubts Bill Sweeney’s competence to select next men’s coach

by Giga
Sir Clive Woodward doubts Bill Sweeney’s competence to select next men’s coach

Sir Clive Woodward believes the next England men’s coach should not be chosen by RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney because his rugby knowledge is too “limited.”

Woodward voiced reservations about the recruiting process and mentioned how he approached the RFU about taking over as head coach in 2011 before Stuart Lancaster was chosen.

The core concern for Woodward, who was the coach for England’s World Cup success in 2003, is that business-minded people will be making rugby-minded decisions.

“I don’t blame Eddie (Jones) or Stuart Lancaster. It’s the people who put them in there, the actual recruitment process. All those coaches, from Andy Robinson, a good friend of mine, Brian Ashton, Martin Johnson, Lancaster,” Woodward said on Lawrence Dallaglio’s Evening Standard Rugby Podcast.

“Fundamentally, that recruitment is done by the chief executive. The two main figures in those years are Ian Ritchie and Bill Sweeney, both really good guys. My issue with them is that they are business people. There’s nothing wrong with being a business person, but their knowledge of rugby is really small.

“They are suddenly responsible for employing the England coach. My advice to both of them, and I’ve had this conversation with them — as you can imagine, it didn’t go too well — if I was CEO of the RFU, I would employ a director of rugby, who would take all this responsibility off me.

“A director of rugby who is qualified to talk about the England coaching position, how you go about selecting it and also to recommend to me and the board who that should be.


“Neither Bill Sweeney nor Ian Ritchie had the skill-set to make the right decision on who should be England head coach. All the advice you want, but unless you are surrounded by people with the right skill-set, the chances are you will make the wrong decisions.

“I would like a director of rugby to be totally responsible if the CEO doesn’t have the skills. With these CEO roles, it’s almost like having a fan in charge. How can a fan pick the England rugby coach? I just think that’s wrong.”

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