Woodward says RFU have made England a “laughing stock”

Clive Woodward says the RFU have made England a laughing stock

England’s Rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward says that English Rugby has become the “laughing stock” of the Rugby World after Sam Burgess returned to Rugby League.

Burgess and the South Sydney Rabbitohs announced yesterday that the England World Cup centre had signed with them until 2018 and would be leaving Bath who a day earlier had insisted that he was staying in England.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, Woodward said: “I said last week that Sam Burgess is not to blame for this mess and I stand by it.”

“But with his return to rugby league we’ve reached one of the all-time lows and most embarrassing points in English rugby history.

“The RFU (England’s Rugby Football Union) has spent the last four years congratulating itself on the direction in which we’re heading, but the truth is we have marched confidently into a total mess. The review after the 2011 World Cup was a shambles.

“Players and coaches let down by media leaks, good men exposed as scapegoats and lesser men hiding and shirking responsibility. Nothing has changed.”

Woodward who also played centre for England added,”We are the laughing stock of not only world rugby but also sport and business. ”

“The rest of the world says those involved in English rugby are arrogant. I hate this reputation, but that is exactly what the RFU have been.”

Reports have suggested that Rabbitohs – who are owned by Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe – paid Aus$1.5 million ($1 million US, £700,000) a year to secure the 26-year-old.

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