ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Thursday Jul 23, 2020

Carling responds to Woodward's claims about England's 'Laurel and Hardy' RWC final preparations

Former England captain Will Carling has said that it is “very dangerous” to judge England’s preparation for the Rugby World Cup final on two incidents, following comments made by Sir Clive Woodward.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 2003 RWC winning coach pulled no punches recently on a webinar hosted by St Mary’s University Twickenham, where he is a visiting professor, labelling England’s conduct ahead of the final loss to South Africa as “embarrassing” and “really poor”.

“You look at the South Africans on paper and you go, ‘Wow, this is a serious team’. Of course, everyone is building up England and they didn’t help themselves. They just seemed to get distracted, it just wasn’t the same,” Woodward says in the interview, which can be watched below.

“I was with Martin and Lawrence and we were going, ‘This is going to be close, this is going to be more than close’. In fact, I thought South Africa were going to win because it was a complete reversal from the semi-final. I just saw distractions everywhere.”

The two main contentions Woodward had were the way both Joe Marler and Dan Coles comported themselves in the press conference prior to the final, and the fact that the team were late to arrive for the match.

“I don’t normally go to the press conferences despite the fact that I was working over there for the Mail and ITV. But I went to this press conference because I was interviewing Eddie Jones after the main press conference. Eddie and Owen were there and it was the Thursday afternoon, two days before the biggest day of your life, and they were okay. It wasn’t quite as sharp and edgy, there was a bit too much humour for me.

“But then they left and half the press conference left with them. Then they sent up two players. I stayed in the room. I was at the back with my baseball cap on, so no one knew I was there. The two players were Dan Cole and Joe Marler, two guys on the bench, two front rowers.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Honestly, I sat there and it was like Laurel and Hardy. I’m just going, I know they are on the bench but this is 48 hours from the World Cup final. It was to me poor and that is me being polite. It was really poor. As history turned out, these two players would have a huge, huge role in the game with (Kyle) Sinckler going off so early. So Cole is on really, really early. Marler comes on as they take off Mako Vunipola.”

Marler has already objected to these comments, saying “change the record Sir Clive” on Twitter.

The 64-year-old contrasted this with England’s preparation for the semi-final against the All Blacks where he said “in the build-up everything was great”.

Now Carling has also responded on Twitter, saying that there are thousands of interactions before a game for a team and players, and that two do not derail a team. He said:

ADVERTISEMENT

“Taking late arrival of the team and a press conference as evidence that England weren’t ready for a World Cup Final is very dangerous. Getting ready for a game is about 100’s, 1000’s of tiny interactions, moments. Two do not derail a team…”

Carling has not only worked with Eddie Jones during his tenure as England head coach, operating as a leadership mentor, but captained England in the 1995 RWC.

He will be accustomed to the rigours of preparing for high pressure games from his own experience, having taken England to the semi-final in South Africa, and was probably aware of the state of mind of the Jones’ side in 2019, meaning he is well qualified to offer a retort.

Woodward’s take has already proven to be polarising, and Carling will not be the last person to offer their opinion on the matter.

You can watch the full chat with Woodward below, with his comments on the final starting six minutes into the video

Comments




Related Articles

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    Foster stages assault on World Rugby headquarters...

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    Pat Lambie sinks 55-metre kick to beat the...

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby X - The fastest ever variation of Rugby...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Five of the best tries from the Investec Champions Cup

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    The dummy that sold the whole of Perth - including the cameraman

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Bayonne score 'one of the best tries you'll ever see' in latest match against Exeter

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Baloucoune shows Andy Farrell what he's missing as the winger tears through Harlequins defence

  • 24 WEEKS AGO

    Seriously impressive Courtney Lawes compilation released after England player calls time on international career

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Fiji Drua player Lomani slapped with ban following elbow attack

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    The sending off that rocked the Six Nations opener

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Wrecking ball beats 10 players to score full length of the pitch try

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    Streaker causes major bust up as he tackles player

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    Monster hit from Perrin leaves Bristol Bears player stunned

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Tickets now on sale as World XV set to face France in thrilling encounter

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    '60 metres, plus change' - massive drop goal stuns fans

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Referee makes 'tackle of the season' as he gets too close to the action

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Christian Wade proves he still has the X-factor with 50 metre mazy finish for Racing 92

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Magical sevens try leaves defender stuck in the mud

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    George Ford falls victim to the kickers curse

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Awesome scenes as Blitzbok fan throws down at the HSBC SVNS

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Mike Philips recounts crazy night Shane Williams tried to fight Warren Gatland

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Shaun Edwards leaves room silent in new Six Nations documentary with French to English transition

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    Streaker causes major bust up as he tackles player

View All

Amateur

  • 66 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 66 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 1 DAY AGO

    TJ Perenara equals record as Hurricanes continue perfect season

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Mitch Drummond pays tribute to the Mo'unga family in emotional interview

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Julian Savea rolls back the years with 'bus' style finish

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Saracens announce double retirement as club heads into rebuilding era

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Fiji Drua player Lomani slapped with ban following elbow attack

View All