Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Woodward Anger; Clive: Why Did BBC Use Campese? I've No Respect for Him

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Woodward Anger; Clive: Why Did BBC Use Campese? I've No Respect for Him

Article excerpt


CLIVE WOODWARD today launched a blistering attack on the BBC for their "crass decision" to allow Australian David Campese to hand the team of the year trophy to England on Sunday night.

World Cup-winning head coach Woodward was amazed that the BBC should opt for former Wallaby great Campese, who had spent much of November badmouthing England's chances of winning the tournament.

Woodward's frustration spilled over today as he named the England XV to face the New Zealand Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday. He said: "To choose Campese was an error, bad judgement, and sums up British sport because they made a joke about the presentation.

"We had Princess Anne, Sir Bobby Charlton and George Cohen in the audience and they could have delivered the trophy.

"Instead, they chose a player I have little or no respect for. It was a bad error of judgement by the BBC. It was a crass decision by somebody."

Woodward, who has decided that 1 January will signal the end of all talk about World Cup glory, will insist that his players focus solely on retaining the Six Nations crown in the new year and expects to have a good relationship with the directors of rugby of the leading English clubs despite problems being created by Saturday's celebration event at Twickenham.

Gloucester have failed in their attempt to get England prop Trevor Woodman released for this game and Woodward accepts there are considerable frustrations at the moment.

"One of the key reasons we won the World Cup was the support we received from the directors of rugby," he said. "This match is not our fight and I will not fall out with Nigel Melville over this.

We're operating in extremely difficult circumstances and we didn't organise this fixture.

"I don't believe it will affect our relationship and the owners of the clubs should direct their vitriol not at the England management or their directors of rugby but at those who organised the game.

"We have a fantastic relationship with the clubs and it's one of the reasons we won the World Cup. Although I didn't put the Clive blasts BBC for choosing Campese match in place it's up to me to coach the team and there have been restrictions on who I can pick with just three released from each club. …

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