‘The reign of terror is over’ – Rugby world celebrates as Sir Clive Woodward quits punditry role

Colin Newboult
Former England head coach Sir Clive Woodward working as a pundit for ITV.

Former England head coach Sir Clive Woodward working as a pundit for ITV.

Rugby watchers have been revelling in the news that Sir Clive Woodward will not be part of the punditry team for the upcoming Six Nations.

The 68-year-old was, of course, England’s head coach during their Rugby World Cup triumph in 2003, but left a year later and moved on to pastures new.

He became a pundit for ITV in 2015 but has regularly been criticised for his views, which fans have claimed are out of touch.

Lack of research

Woodward also shocked diehard rugby supporters for admitting to not watching much of certain players before they featured internationally, including individuals from his own country.

That was the case for Ollie Lawrence, who got his chance for the Red Rose after starring for Worcester Warriors in the Premiership.

As a result, he has been accused of not taking his role seriously enough over the years.

Despite that, the former centre stated his employers were “very disappointed” when he confirmed that he was stepping down.

“It has been a fantastic time but I now want to concentrate on other things,” he told The Times.

“ITV were very disappointed but after the Rugby World Cup I wanted to go out on a high. I will be at Twickenham still – but this time as a spectator and fan.

“I would like to thank the ITV Sport team and my fellow panellists and co-commentators for so many great games and happy memories, and wish everyone the very best for an exciting Six Nations campaign.”


People did not hold back their delight when it was announced, with one person joking on X, formerly Twitter: “I just fell to my knees in Tesco.”

Another added: “I now see why I didn’t get any Xmas presents. All my wishes pushed to 2024.”

Most very much believe that ITV’s coverage will be improved by not having him on the panel, including analyst Squidge Rugby.

“A single tear just rolled down my cheek. The reign of terror is over,” he wrote.

However, perhaps the most brutal response came from former Fiji head coach and current World Rugby high performance pathways manager Simon Raiwalui, who put, “The rugby public instantly got smarter!”

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