Eddie Jones finally says what he really thinks about ‘deceitful’ Sir Clive Woodward

Colin Newboult
Former England head coach Sir Clive Woodward in 2023.

Former England head coach Sir Clive Woodward in 2023.

Eddie Jones has provided a withering assessment of Sir Clive Woodward as he opened up on why the relationship between the two became strained.

While the 63-year-old was in charge of England, Woodward became a huge critic of the Australian, especially following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Although some of it may have been justified as the Red Rose performances dipped after the global tournament, Jones felt there was an ulterior motive to his constant barrage.

Woodward wanting England job

“He hasn’t coached since 2005 and he’s the ‘world’s best coach.’ You’re the world’s best coach when you don’t coach. What’s the old thing, the man in the arena?” he told James Graham’s The Bye Round podcast.

“He’s consistently criticising. We had a bit of a thing when we were England and Australia coach, but his great gripe is that he wanted to be director of rugby at England.

“He wanted to oversee it and he never got that job. After the World Cup in 2019, he ran an internal campaign with the RFU to take that position and he did it behind my back and I thought it was quite sneaky and deceitful.”

The ex-Wallabies boss addressed why Woodward was so forthright in his criticism of Jones’ England during the Up Front with Simon Jordan podcast.

Jones stated two weeks ago that he found the 2003 Rugby World Cup winner to be “quite disrespectful” in his views post-2019, but the 63-year-old was even stronger when in discussion with rugby league legend Graham.

Made it personal

“Every time since, if he says something, I really don’t value his thoughts at all and I don’t like him as a bloke. Because he was so deceitful,” Jones said on The Bye Round.

“Most blokes in our sport, they’re generally face-to-face, and I don’t mind that. If someone has a different opinion, say it and we’ll have a debate about it.

“But when people start doing things behind your back, and particularly the power he had in the media, I thought it was a bit red hot.

“He made it personal by doing all that stuff behind the scenes. He’ll deny it to the hilt. But I always find it a bit sad.

“I hope that when I do finish coaching I don’t become one of those blokes that knows everything, ‘He should have done thing, he should have made the change here’.

“Coaching and playing is all about foresight, being a pundit is all about hindsight and you’re always right.”

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