Woodward ponders six nations squad
December 15, 1999
England coach Clive Woodward is preparing to unveil a 36-man squad in readiness for this season's inaugural Six Nations Championship.
Woodward's elite group will assemble for training in early January as England count down to their tournament opener against Ireland at Twickenham on February 5.
The announcement, expected some time during the next three weeks, should reveal some new names.
Although the 30-man World Cup squad will comprise its vast majority, young prospects like Bath centre Mike Tindall and the Wasps midfield pairing of Mark Denney and Fraser Waters have everything to play for.
Midfield is an area requiring close scrutiny by Woodward, given Jeremy Guscott's recent retirement from international rugby and the likely short-term absence of his Bath colleague Phil de Glanville through injury.
``I will continue to monitor the progress of a number of players before announcing a new 36-man elite squad which I will require for the Six Nations and training on January 10,'' said Woodward.
Before then Woodward's World Cup group have been invited to a discussion session in Surrey next Monday, when they will examine the failed bid for global glory and assess the Six Nations challenge.
That meeting takes place at England's new base _ the Pennyhill Park Hotel in Bagshot _ which ends a 20-year association with the Petersham Hotel, Richmond where England teams prepared for around 70 home matches.
The Pennyhill Park, much more secluded than the Petersham, was used by New Zealand building towards their World Cup semi-final against France six weeks ago.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September