Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Woodward Warns of Changes to Come

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Woodward Warns of Changes to Come

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Clive Woodward soaked up the astounding scenes of celebration in London's West End with obvious enjoyment - but as soon as the victory parade for England's World Cup triumph was over, the team's guiding force was already consigning the day to history.

Woodward believes professional sport is "a brutal business" and there was an implicit warning in his words that if any member of the England playing or coaching staff shows signs of resting on their laurels, he will find himself out of a job.

As for Woodward himself, he said simply: "This experience has if anything made me feel more determined to repeat the feat again."

The open-top bus tour through the centre of London was watched by hundreds of thousands of cheering supporters. The Metropolitan Police estimated 750,000 had turned out - an attendance unprecedented in British sport.

The players braved icy temperatures on the open-top bus tour from Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square, and afterwards Woodward issued his warning about the cold wind of change in his World Cup-winning squad.

Woodward said: "I am also totally confident that every one of the players has the ability to go forward from this.

"For me, once January 1 comes, the World Cup final will be history and we have to move on.

"We won't stand still. I fully intend to bring in new people into the coaching team.

"It's a brutal business and if we take our foot off the pedal there will be changes - and that would include myself.

"We will enjoy the moment until January 1 and then we are looking forward to the Six Nations and beyond - and it will, of course, up the ante that the other teams will be playing the world champions."

The victory over Australia in Sydney on November 23 has proved a life-changing event for most of the players - though match-winner and reluctant superstar Jonny Wilkinson insists his aim of returning to normality has been achieved. …

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