Rugby

Nobody Is More Upset At Andy Farrell's Irish Promotion Than Clive Woodward

Nobody Is More Upset At Andy Farrell's Irish Promotion Than Clive Woodward

If you thought winning the Grand Slam at Twickenham felt satisfying, imagine if Ireland do it again with a head coach binned off by English rugby after the 2015 World Cup.

The fall guys for England's embarrassment on home soil were Stuart Lancaster and Andy Farrell - the former has helped turn Leinster into the best side in Europe while the latter has twice coached defences (Lions and Ireland) who have played full games against the All Blacks without conceding a try.

Now, Farrell has been anointed Joe Schmidt's Irish successor, and rumour has it that Lancaster is wanted to join the ticket.

England, meanwhile, are in financial turmoil and toiling on the field under Eddie Jones' enervating, abrasive leadership.

Clive Woodward is filled with remorse for these developments, as he reveals to the indifferent world in today's Daily Mail.

He is full of praise for Ireland - saying that it is a smart succession plan and obviates complacency in the Irish camp during Schmidt's final year - but is scathing of the RFU for their failure to acknowledge that coaches shouldn't be thrown to the scrapheap because of single disappointments.

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Clive, sadly, is filled with despair.

As for England missing out on a brilliant homegrown coach, I am almost filled with despair. Farrell has always been an outstanding individual, a great player and a coach of massive potential.

Yes, he was part of the coaching team that failed to deliver at the last World Cup, but where is the joined-up thinking at Twickenham about grooming coaches?

Every national coach — or assistant coach as Farrell was — will at some time be associated with failure. Eddie Jones, Graham Henry, Steve Hansen, Warren Gatland, myself and many others have been there and got the T-shirt. But that didn’t make us bad coaches.

It looks like, once again, England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity...

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See Also: Eddie O'Sullivan Calls Joe Schmidt's Bluff On Talk Of 'Retirement'

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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