Sir Clive Woodward Launches Ridiculous Attack On The Barbarians

Get out of here.

Former England head coach Sir Clive Woodward has launched a stinging attack on the annual Barbarians vs England fixture at Twickenham.

The World Cup winner reckons the fixture “should be scrapped” and that it “serves no purpose” to England and their Rugby World Cup preparations. Woodward says he has no problem with the Barbarians concept itself, but wants England to distance itself from the touring side.

“I have felt for some time that this annual fixture serves no purpose for England in an increasingly crowded calendar and I am now certain it should be scrapped.” Woodward writes in his Daily Mail column.

The Baa Baa’s made light work of England on Sunday, scoring a record 63 points at Twickenham as they ran out 63-45 winners, with England international Chris Ashton bagging a first-half hat-trick against his home nation.

Woodward says the game came at a “really bad time” and that he used to “hate” playing the Barbarians when he was head coach of England.

“This Barbarians game came at a really bad time for England and lessons should be learned. The England guys got a slating in the media afterwards but I genuinely felt sorry for them and would attribute absolutely zero importance to their performances on the day in terms of England selection. 

Questions should be asked not of the players but of the RFU for putting them through such an impossible afternoon.

As England coach I used to hate our Barbarians game every May. You don’t know how to prepare for them and I was just glad to get through them without serious injuries. It has no role in England’s plans for next year’s World Cup.

If it’s a circus that Twickenham and the Barbarians want then of course they can have it — but no current senior international, or the England shirt, should be subjected to it.”

Woodward says the slot should instead be used to reward the likes of Georgia and the Pacific Islands.

“This slot should be used to promote and reward unions such as Georgia and the Pacific Islands and I am confident the English public would equally support such games. 

The Barbarians’ agenda is totally different. They attract some of the world best players by laying on an end-of-season week of five-star comfort and old-style amateur ambience and then after their first good night’s sleep of the week, they party on the field. We all understand and get that, and the players are good enough to get away with it.

The All Blacks or South Africans would just not allow it and I was surprised Eddie Jones did not get involved as for me it was devaluing and undermining what he is trying to build as England look to recover from a painful Six Nations. ”

What do you think? Do you look forward to the annual England vs Barbarians fixture or do you think it should be scrapped? I for one had the most fun I’ve had in a very long time watching a rugby game on Sunday when I tuned in.

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