• Switch Edition
Follow
Story
Former coaches enter debate over Woodward's future
London
October 26, 1999

Former national coaches Jack Rowell and Dick Best have both spoken out after England's World Cup exit against South Africa in Paris last Sunday.
Rowell believes that Clive Woodward should take responsibility for the defeat, however his predecessor in the top job believes that England are a good side and can bounce back from this disappointment.
"We have a good group of players. I feel sorry for them because they have worked so hard and were itching to play. But it comes back to tactics," said Rowell. "It is all about management. That doesn't mean running up and down a touchline - it means strategy."
"Wales gave it their best shot on Saturday, playing a structured game to their strengths. Scotland were up against it with New Zealand because they were out-powered, but they played a tactical game which worked for them and maximised what talent they had. I didn't see that from England. If we had the best forwards in the world why didn't we use them? If we had a game-breaker like Dan Luger, why wasn't he brought into the match more?"
"You can play the recycling game until the cows come home" claimed Rowell, who led the English in their last World Cup campaign.
However Best, now in charge at London Irish, has been more supportive. "If you look past the disappointment of the defeat and analyse it, it was the accumulation of three games in a week. It was also an astonishing performance by Jannie de Beer and it was very tough on England."
And the man who led England out of the dark days of the 1980's, also warned against making rash changes, claiming that England were far from outclassed.
"England have come up against two extremely good defences and they have proved they also have a top defence," he said.
"You could tell from the first five minutes of each game that both New Zealand and South Africa were not going to be easy to break down.
"We must not do what we normally do and say that we have to change things, because over the last few years, England have beaten these sides. It was just a bad day."

Live Scores
Results
Fixtures