Sir Clive Woodward: Springboks inflict the ‘worst week in English rugby history’

Colin Newboult

World Cup-winning head coach Sir Clive Woodward insists that English rugby could not sink any lower after they succumbed to a 27-13 defeat to South Africa on Saturday.

England were completely overpowered, as well as being outplayed, by the Springboks at Twickenham as the visitors went away with a dominant victory.

It ended the national team’s worst year since 2008 following another disappointing 12 months under the guidance of Eddie Jones.

Struggles since the last World Cup

The Red Rose have struggled for form since the 2019 World Cup, despite claiming the 2020 Six Nations title.

Performances have gradually declined with very few signs that things are set to improve with the next global tournament just 10 months away.

“This was the worst week in English rugby history,” Woodward told The Mail on Sunday.

“The game in this country is a total shambles and defeat to a South Africa side without nine of its best players showed it.

“When are the leading figures at the RFU going to wake up and realise English rugby is in trouble? Everything is not OK. Eddie Jones will be allowed to carry on as he likes yet again.

“I was lost for words watching the South Africa game. It was that bad. It was one of the most depressing games I’ve seen at HQ. The England team is miles off where it needs to be.

“I’ve never seen people booing at the final whistle at Twickenham before. It really, really hurts me to see and hear that. I hate it. But at the same time, it also reflects where England are at right now.”

Former England full-back has his say

Former full-back Mike Brown, who played under Jones, agrees with Woodward and believes that the head coach is not being made answerable to his decisions.

“I have stopped believing what comes out of Eddie Jones’ mouth. I’m hearing the same things over and over again,” Brown told The Mail on Sunday.

“We keep getting fed all these narratives about growth and playing style, but it’s not being backed up on the pitch.

“He keeps saying it’s his fault, so what is he doing about it? The time for talking is over. People are bored with it. He needs to be held to account.”

READ MORE: England head coach Eddie Jones defends his credentials after Springbok defeat