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Woodward makes post-2012 RFU hint

Sir Clive Woodward insists the recent turmoil at the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has not put him off a possible return to the organisation - but he is adamant that he will only consider a move to the governing body after the 2012 Olympics.

The RFU was plunged into turmoil earlier this year when chief executive Sir John Steele resigned from his post due to his handling of the recruitment of a performance director. Any involvement in running the England Test team was taken out of the job description before an embarrassing U-turn that ultimately cost Steele his job.

When asked whether the episode had put him off a return to HQ after the Olympics, the British Olympic Association's director of elite performance said: "No it hasn't put me off at all. They have gone through difficult times but there are some really good people there who I know well."

Woodward added: "They will not be proud of what has happened over the last few months but they will come through. I've always said that I would be here at the BOA until 2012. Even if the rugby job had come to fruition then for me it would have been something I might be interested in after 2012.

"There was never any doubt that any new job I'd start would come after 2012. I've spent five years getting ready for this (the Olympics) and I want to see that through. I'll re-evaluate where I am after that."

Woodward has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Steele, but he insists he would not be interested in taking the vacant chief executive's job.

"My expertise is what I do now - coaching and performance," he said. "It's nice for people to say that but I will not be applying for the chief executive's role of the RFU."

Woodward, who currently works with coaches of all Britain's Olympic sports, admits he misses being part of rugby, but is happy to stay in his current role due to the attraction of being involved in a home Olympics.

"I'm really enjoying the job. It's one removed from coaching. There's not quite the buzz of the changing room but I can always go back to that," said Woodward, who was speaking at the Sports Journalists' Association lunch on Fleet Street on Thursday.

Woodward will take a two-week break from his job next month to fly to New Zealand to watch the man who captained his team to glory in 2003 - Martin Johnson - try to emulate him by winning the World Cup as coach.


From Belfast Telegraph