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Woodward resigned, Robinson installed as Acting Head Coach

Woodward resigned, Robinson installed as Acting Head Coach

Clive Woodward has formally resigned and Andy Robinson has been installed as Acting Head Coach with immediate effect.

Following meetings between his solicitors and RFU management today, Clive Woodward has issued the following statement.

I have today handed in a letter to RFU Chief Executive, Francis Baron OBE informing him that I am resigning my post as England Head Coach.

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This has been accepted. I informed Francis yesterday that I was happy to stay for the Investec test matches in the autumn but in discussion with him it was agreed that it would make for a smoother transition of coaching and management responsibility if I withdrew from the Head Coach position with immediate effect.

I give my full support to Andy Robinson who has been asked by the RFU to become Acting’ Head Coach.

I will attend a press conference with Francis Baron and Graeme Cattermole tomorrow at Twickenham and until then I do not intend to make any further comment.

RFU Chief Executive Francis Baron said Clive has done an outstanding job for England and the Union and his notable successes in winning the Grand Slam and the Rugby World Cup in the same year are massive achievements for which he has been rightly honoured.

I’m sure that Clive will have success in any challenges that he may now decide to accept and we are in the process of considering suitable candidates to replace him. He will obviously be a very tough act to follow but we are fortunate to have a wide number of highly qualified coaches within the existing England coaching set up and that is where we will start our search.

I can confirm that Andy Robinson has been offered and accepted the role of Acting Head Coach for an interim period with effect from Monday, September 6th 2004, which will include the Investec Challenge Series autumn internationals in November. Andy has a wealth of experience at club and international level and I’m sure he will do an excellent job.

The process for the appointment of a new Head Coach begins immediately as set out in the RFU constitution. Andy is clearly a strong candidate for the full time post and he can apply for the job, on a full time basis, in accordance with our procedures. He has informed me that he will do so.

While I fully understand the terms of Clive’s contract I am personally disappointed that he has decided to leave his post as England Head Coach as I and the RFU would have liked him to have stayed on in that role until the end of RWC 2007 as was intended when he signed his new contract prior to the RWC in 2003.

Andy Robinson OBE, England Acting Head Coach, said I made it very clear to the RFU and Clive that my wish was for him stay on as Head Coach. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Clive over the last four years with England and would personally like to congratulate him on the success he has achieved in leading England to the RWC and as the Number 1 team in the world. I wish him all the best. However, I have now been offered an opportunity, which I have accepted and I’m looking forward to England’s first training session on September 20th.

Graeme Cattermole, Chairman of the RFU Management Board said On behalf of the game in England I would like to thank Clive for the excellent work he has carried out for the England team.

He has helped take the national team to new heights and we will always be grateful for the work he has done for the RFU and England.

President of the RFU Malcolm Phillips said Clive has produced a superb legacy over the last seven years as England Head Coach and I wish him every success with whichever way his career continues in the future.