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Sir Clive Woodward: Australia are not the brightest team and could disintegrate

Published 02/10/2015

Sir Clive Woodward remains confident England can beat Australia
Sir Clive Woodward remains confident England can beat Australia

Sir Clive Woodward is confident England can beat Australia at Twickenham on Saturday, claiming Michael Cheika's side are "not the brightest team".

The Rugby World Cup 2015 hosts face the prospect of failing to qualify for the quarter-finals following last weekend's 25-28 defeat to Wales, but Woodward believes all is not lost for Stuart Lancaster's men.

It is a must-win game against Australia and Woodward claims with the right tactics they are there for the taking.

He told the Daily Mail: "It is not a case of playing random running rugby against Australia, it's all about attacking cleverly and with purpose.

"It's about never letting them off the hook. If you can keep hold of the ball and run through the phases, always moving forwards, Australia will disintegrate. Do the opposite of what they expect, move the ball quickly from the scrum, take quick line-outs, tap and go.

"Contrary to popular belief, they are not the brightest team., they give away penalties and pick up yellow cards when they are stretched.

"Playing at pace also applies to the scoreboard, keep it ticking. Just always score next. Target five tries and if they want to give us penalties in the process, take them too."

Woodward, who coached England to World Cup glory in 2003, was stunned by criticism aimed at Mike Brown for a post-match interview in which the full-back, visibly disgruntled at losing to Wales, gave some curt answers.

He added: "Across the board I would like to see more of Mike Brown's die-hard attitude.

"I was amazed at the criticism he has been copping all week on social media for a rather bad-tempered and brief interview after the Wales match.

"I thought it was absolutely fantastic. He was gutted and angry and he didn't want to be there and made that very clear. He didn't swear or indulge in any unacceptable behaviour but he was narked, so he gets a high five from me.

"The TV guys put a microphone right under his nose seconds after the most disappointing defeat of his career and they got the real Mike Brown, the full Monty - brilliant. Brown is a winner who finds defeat unacceptable and that is why he is one of the best full-backs in the world.

"If you had a team of Mike Browns, players with the same competitive DNA, England wouldn't lose many Test matches and I wish some of the other players and coaches would sometimes demonstrate that same passion and anger when things have gone badly wrong."

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