Sir Clive Woodward got the pot badly wrong with his prediction about the Northern Hemisphere teams’ performance in this past weekend’s World Cup quarter-finals. Now he walks and tells England that they have nothing to fear for their upcoming meeting against the Springboks.
The former England coach last week in his Daily Mailcolumn predicted that the Northern Hemisphere teams would be too strong for their Southern Hemisphere opponents in the quarter-finals of the tournament in France.
Well, Ireland, France and Wales bit the dust and only England could make it to the semi-finals of the rugby spectacle.
But in his latest piece of writing, he tells no tale about his Nostradamus blunder. Aikôna, he only sings the Rose’s praises, even if they had to settle for a split victory against Fiji.
“Sunday was a fantastic day for England rugby and for Steve Borthwick. It was proof that England should fear nothing from South Africa when they play each other in Paris on Saturday night,” wrote Woodward.
The 67-year-old former coach believes Borthwick struck a blow against Fiji when he replaced Owen Farrell in the no. 10 jersey chosen.
“Choosing Farrell at flyhalf was the right decision; he can’t play inside center. Borthwick had to admit that he made a team selection mistake a few days before against Samoa and he deserves a pat on the back for his youngest team.”
According to Woodward, it was the new England coach’s best day at the helm of the Roses.
“A lot of people didn’t agree with the fly-half decision, but it was the reason for England’s success and Farrell was deservedly named player of the match.”
Although the Rose dished out “physical and brilliant” play, he was also impressed with the islanders’ performance.
“Fiji surprised me with their performance – they were fantastic – but England are a good World Cup team. They played in the final in 2019 and now they are once again among the four top teams where they can rightly think that they can turn any opponent’s ears off.”