Woodward criticises RFU's rules over Flood
January 12, 2014
Sir Clive Woodward has taken aim at the RFU © Getty Images
Sir Clive Woodward has criticised the Rugby Football Union's policy of not picking players who are plying their trade in France.
Toby Flood is widely expected to join Toulouse at the end of the season and his decision to pursue his career in France led to him being omitted from England's Six Nations squad. In his place, George Ford has been drafted in, with the young fly-half currently playing for Bath, and even though Lancaster admitted he attempted to persuade Flood to re-sign with Leicester, Flood's Test career appears to be over.
For Woodward, who guided England to the 2003 World Cup win, he feels this policy is wrong."If I was still head coach of England I would be stamping my feet pretty hard to say why are we doing this?" Woodward told BT Sport. "Logically I can't see the difference between playing in Paris or Toulouse and Exeter or Leicester.
"There is nothing wrong with it and the game has moved on. If our top three No.10s all got offered million pound contracts to go and play in France does that mean they are not going to play for England?"
And Woodward believes Lancaster should be able to pick whoever he wants. He added: "I just think it is the wrong move and I think it almost gives the England coach an excuse in that 'I couldn't pick this player or that player'.
"That's not what international rugby is about, you should be able to pick anyone who qualifies for your country to play for your team. It is up to you whether you pick them or not but don't be told you can't pick him because he happens to play in France. I just think it's wrong."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Brendan Rodgers believes that Steven Gerrard's decision to retire from international football will benefit Liverpool - while he also revealed how passionate his captain is about the club
Glasgow Warriors have bolstered their options in the front-row with the signing of Rossouw de Klerk from the Cheetahs
Wayne Rooney is desperate to be involved in Louis van Gaal's first game in charge of Manchester United, according to assistant manager Ryan Giggs
London Welsh have brought in James Down from the Cardiff Blues who becomes the club's 24th signing of the summer
Louis van Gaal has hit out at Manchester United's pre-season tour of the United States and the "dreadful" distances they have to cover, saying the club is putting commercial commitments ahead of on-field success