Rugby Championship

Clive Woodward: Rugby will be dead in 5 years if it follows the Springboks' style

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Clive Woodward (Getty)
Clive Woodward (Getty)

Former England and British & Irish Lions coach Clive Woodward has again hit out at the Springboks, saying rugby will be "dead in five years" if the sport follows the route of the world champions.

Woodward, who coached England to the 2003 World Cup title, has been a regular critic of the Springboks' conservative style of play and was very vocal during the recent Springboks-British & Irish Lions series.

Via a column for the the Daily Mail, Woodward warned the sport should start to thrill fans or face the consequences in years to come.

"Positive, imaginative, attacking rugby is the way forward generally," he wrote. "I looked on in horror last weekend at the sheer poverty and boredom from the South Africa team against Australia. Rugby was not - and is not - meant to be played like that and I'm just pleased Australia won.

"The Boks' series against the Lions was little better and it should worry everyone involved in the sport that rugby is going down that route. It will be dead in five years if it does."

Woodward praised the All Blacks for showing "proper rugby is alive and well" after their 39-0 win over Argentina.

"The ball must always be your friend, not a ticking time-bomb. What is the point of neutralising your best players, kicking the leather off the ball all day? I'd love to sit down with the South Africa team and ask them, 'Do you really enjoy playing this way?'"

The Boks, meanwhile, are again up against the Wallabies this weekend, with Saturday's clash in Brisbane scheduled for 09:05 (SA time).

Australia edged last weekend's Test in Gold Coast 28-26.



15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Feleti Kaitu'u, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia


15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

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