Woodward - England players need to last the distance
June 16, 2014
Regardless of how many are in the squad, England need their starting XV to be able to last the distance © Getty Images
Sir Clive Woodward has criticised England for having players who cannot last the whole match and for a reliance on "impact players" who come off the bench in the latter stages.
In his Daily Mail column, Woodward wrote that "England must start producing 100-minute rugby players - World Cup games have been known to go to extra time - if they are to win the tournament in 2015".
To get them used to this, he said that in the 3rd Test next weekend the aim should be for the starting XV to finish the match. "I am mystified by the use of so-called impact players in Test rugby when in fact they very rarely make an impact at all. On Saturday England got nothing extra out of Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley. Test rugby is completely different from club rugby. It's incredibly difficult to come off the bench in a game played at 100mph, like the second Test in Dunedin, and make a difference - especially against the All Blacks and South Africa. I'm struggling to think of the last time that happened. It's possible in the Premiership but not against the world's best team."
At club level there is a need to protect players for future matches, but Woodward said in Tests "there is no tomorrow … the only thing that matters is having your best 15 on the pitch for as long as possible. You need your big guns firing as many shots as possible".
Much depends on fitness but that should not be an excuse. "England players lack for nothing in conditioning and athletes in Britain are supported by cutting edge sports science. For England to be anything other than the fittest team in the world is unacceptable."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Fernando Alonso said the McLaren felt much better than he expected during his first run in the MP4-30 since pre-season testing
Aaron Baddeley's tee shot on the par-4 17th Thursday at the Texas Open would have been the second hole-in-one on a par 4 in PGA Tour history had he only taken a mulligan
Nico Rosberg thinks the perfect strategy in Malaysia will involve getting as much out of one stint on the option tyre as possible during Sunday's race
The Hurricanes have produced a blistering second-half performance to record a commanding 36-12 victory over Melbourne Rebels in Wellington
Wales international back-row forward Gareth Delve has signed for the Ospreys
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix
Maurice Hamilton pieces together what we know from the Fernando Alonso crash and explains why the latest answers raise more questions
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Tiger Woods is confident of recovering from a poor run of form to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team in 2016, according to captain Davis Love III
Jonas Gutierrez has told Canal+ he will never forgive Newcastle for the way the club treated him during his battle with cancer, but wants to stay at St James' Park beyond this summer
Lionel Messi earned more than €1 million (£740,000) a week last year to make him the world's highest-paid player and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the best-paid coach, according to a new survey
Andy Murray has expressed fears that his game will regress without full-time coaching in a candid exchange with a fellow Twitter user as he prepares to add former world No.4 Jonas Bjorkman to his coaching team
Luis Suarez has laughed off the idea that the Barcelona players have set out to help Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo to La Liga's top scorer award
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?
Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?
How many F1 drivers have had one win, but done it at their home Grand Prix?