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SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: The RFU STINKS from top to backside… England fans are being taken for fools

I concern we are witnessing a return of the RFU previous boys’ membership — or the ‘previous farts’ as Will Carling famously described them — as they fight to shut down legit debate on Eddie Jones’ future.

It is all smoke and mirrors and it is not serving the wants of English rugby, which is the one factor that counts.

The irony in fact is that the RFU’s ham-fisted makes an attempt to draw a line underneath this season have solely ignited folks’s fury…and suspicion. England are badly underperforming and this isn’t going away — regardless of how a lot they need it might.

England supervisor Eddie Jones has obtained an astonishing vote of confidence from the RFU

On Sunday, Twickenham cranked out a outstanding press launch simply hours after England had lost in Paris, their third defeat of the Six Nations. They additionally lost three of 5 video games final season, lest we overlook.

In the press launch, she or he — we don’t know who it’s, solely an RFU spokesperson which is simply so gutless — said that the RFU had been ‘inspired by England’s strong progress’, a frankly absurd remark that has been rightly ridiculed.

Is this actually the view of everybody on the RFU? I feel not. Ugo Monye — one of many fairest and least hysterical pundits on the circuit — referred to as it ‘dishonest’ and I concur solely. The RFU are intentionally attempting to mislead the rugby public.

To have the phrase ‘dishonest’ levelled on the RFU is unprecedented however sadly on this case completely correct. Well finished Ugo for having the bottle to say so.

The RFU are trying to close down legitimate debate on the future of England head coach

The RFU are attempting to shut down legit debate on the way forward for England head coach

It is a gross distortion of the reality. Did Eddie log off on the press launch or was it his huge mate Bill Sweeney, the RFU chief government? Who has made this evaluation of England’s faltering season and if it was Sweeney, why does he not put his head above the parapet and say so? It stinks from top to backside and it has been happening for ages. I witnessed it first-hand simply days after the World Cup remaining in 2019.

I obtained a name from Sweeney, who I had solely met just a few instances, inviting me for just a few beers and an off-the-cuff debrief of the World Cup. I had seen the knockout phases first-hand and had additionally witnessed the ultimate week’s preparation — a severe lesson in how not to put together.

He knew based mostly on my writings on this paper that I used to be far from impressed with the way in which Jones specifically had dealt with that final week, leading to a complete no-show within the remaining. He needed to hear my views in particular person and we met on the Thursday after the ultimate in a pub close to Twickenham for a strictly off-the-record dialogue.

I took my trusty pocket book with me, by which I had jotted down a protracted record of bullet factors on the flight dwelling from Japan. Some minor however some essential and within the spirit of constructive cooperation I supplied them up to Bill. Some had been clearly uncomfortable for him as he was additionally partly to blame.

About 45 minutes after I left the pub, I obtained a foul-mouthed textual content from Jones berating me for my views. I used to be gobsmacked and greater than irritated. It had been a personal session with Sweeney over just a few beers however straight after the 2 of them had clearly spoken. I do not know who phoned who, I didn’t care, however all of the sudden I used to be the dangerous man. The paranoia was worrying.

So this is the reason I’m so suspicious now. They need to shut the talk down as a result of they know there wants to be one they usually know it should uncover some painful truths for each of them.

Later in Sunday’s press launch, it talked about the notorious nameless panel of so-called rugby consultants who will review England’s season — as they did final year’s disastrous marketing campaign, when their foremost findings appeared to be the necessity for a referee at England periods and a sports activities psychologist, each of which had been in place 20 years in the past!

The panel apparently meets mid-season. Really? How does that work? Are its discussions minuted and its recommendation handed on to Eddie and promptly acted on? And will they meet once more to review this season and interview folks?

Fans are being taken for fools by a gutless old boys club led by Jones and Bill Sweeney (left)

Fans are being taken for fools by a gutless previous boys membership led by Jones and Bill Sweeney (left)

Who are these folks on the panel who are thought of able to quizzing Eddie on how to run a World Cup profitable workforce? What is the extent of their experience? Are a few of them RFU staff who maybe owe their job to Eddie’s affect and backing?

Most importantly, why are they nameless? Being invited on to this panel must be a feather of their caps, one thing to be pleased with. You generally marvel if these folks even exist.

I’d guess a number of money that that is as soon as once more a hornet’s nest of significant conflicts of curiosity, put collectively by Jones and his mate Sweeney (under). A PR stunt to preserve everybody quiet. It has badly backfired and I’m disillusioned the RFU Council has not demanded to know chapter and verse about all of this. Let’s have some honesty and a few actual transparency right here, that is the nationwide governing physique!

Around the time of the World Cup in 2019, Conor O’Shea was given the job of efficiency director. Based on what? O’Shea was nonetheless employed by the Italians, who needed him out, and had a dismal Six Nations report. Eddie apparently believed he can be the precise particular person for the job, in that there can be zero questions or interference with him. Jobs for the boys.

The RFU have said they are 'encouraged by the solid progress the team has made'

The RFU have stated they are ‘inspired by the strong progress the workforce has made’

This may additionally clarify O’Shea’s whole backing for Jones since he arrived. You can guess your mortgage he is likely one of the anonymous wonders who clearly assume England’s outcomes during the last two Six Nations signify ‘strong progress’.

I despair that that is such an beginner and murky affair that displays so badly on England.

When I used to be coach, consider me I didn’t lack constructive criticism. I recall Jeff Probyn, a Council member, having a proper go at me one time about one thing, which he was completely entitled to do. But no less than he was man sufficient to put his identify to his ideas and allowed me to put mine again to him. That is the way it must be, not all this nonsense.

So nicely finished once more Ugo, however that is extra than simply dishonest — that is making a complete mockery of the sport. And make no mistake, the way in which the workforce performs at present is only a reflection of what’s going on behind the scenes.

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