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Phil Vickery's world cup thoughts - It's time to bring Clive Woodward back


It's time to bring Clive Woodward back

Ex-England skipper Phil Vickery insists England need a blueprint for the future after humiliating World Cup exit and 2003 chief must be given complete control to rebuild the national team

Following failures at World Cups or Six Nations, the likes of Andy Robinson, Brian Ashton and Martin Johnson have all paid the price with their jobs.

But the one constant in that time has been the person in overall charge of the national set-up: Rob Andrew.

There has to be more accountability at the top rather than just keep changing coaches.

Something in the set-up is not quite right and serious questions have to be asked.

If England rugby is going to recover and start leading the way, there is one person with the skills, talent, ambition and track record – Clive Woodward.

It was he – along with some great coaches and fantastic players – who created an England team who were the best in the world and it is he who has the knowledge to create a blueprint to take England back there.

But will the RFU be happy to deal with such a strong character? Probably not.

Woodward is clever and innovative but he would want complete power and control to implement his ideas otherwise he won’t be interested.

It all depends how much the RFU want a strong England team because if the job came with a list of caveats, Clive would not be interested.

Things just aren’t working and we are no nearer knowing what the best England team is or who our best players are.

That’s something Rob Andrew needs to take a close look at because we have had success at U20 levels and our women are very strong.

The RFU will have to be brave and look at every area of the game and work out how it wants to take rugby forward at the elite level.

Woodward fits the bill perfectly – but only if the RFU are willing to pick the best people for the job and not just those singing from the same hymn sheet as them.

Give him the power to implement changes – he came back from the disappointment of 1999 World Cup defeat with a plan.

His quest for perfection – even now – is well known and although I am not saying it’s time to get rid of Stuart Lancaster, it is time to bring Clive Woodward back on board in some manner.

Lancaster’s biggest problem is that he tripped himself by insisting he would pick the best team based on form then proceeded to select Sam Burgess.

I have already said what I think of Burgess – he’s a good player – but he has nowhere near enough experience in rugby union to merit a place in the England team.

That’s what I mean about picking the best team for the job.

The fact is that I am Mr England – I love my team and I will support them every time but there have been alarm bells ringing for some time.

We seem to have gone backwards in the last six months and it’s been a long time since I watched England play and could take nothing from the match.

Read the full article at: Yahoo Sports interview with Phil Vickery

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