Woodward: England must throw 'full monty at Australia'

Former coach Sir Clive Woodward has urged England "to throw the full monty" at Australia this summer in a bid to accelerate their journey to the top of world rugby.

England will take on the Wallabies in a three-Test series in June buoyed by their first Six Nations Grand Slam since 2003, which was sealed with a 31-21 win over France in Paris on Saturday. Woodward was in charge the last time England won five out of five in the tournament at the start of their World Cup-winning year.

And the he has called on the current side to continue to build towards Japan 2019 by beating Australia in their own backyard this summer.

"After enjoying their Grand Slam moment, England have to start thinking really big," Woodward wrote in his column in the Daily Mail.

"There is a massive rugby world out there which, as yet, they are not good enough to conquer. They could well get there but it is very early in the journey and they have a long way to travel.

"The exciting thing, though, is that I am more convinced than ever that England have the players, and now the coach, to become world-beaters again."

He added: "Off the back of a Grand Slam, what could be better than heading Down Under and tackling the Aussies? Ramp it up.

"This is an Ashes series we haven't seen the like of for a long time. Come on. It's a no-brainer. Everybody who is fit and able needs to be on that plane and England need to throw the full monty at the Aussies, who will be at a different level to what we have seen in the Six Nations.

"It's a win-win for England. They will start as underdogs, which is always a nice position to be in, but I see no reason why they can't spring a surprise or two. How good would that feel?"

Woodward did, however, question the quality of the tournament, writing: "This was as poor a Six Nations in overall quality as I can remember. Miserable France, transitional Ireland, patchy Scotland, outclassed Italy, underperforming Wales.

"Only England's Grand Slam will live in the memory. That is not England's fault and no Grand Slam ever comes easy, especially in a year when England play three away games, but Eddie and the players will know deep down that this is just the start."