Comments made by Sir Clive Woodward about Italian headcoach Conor O’Shea following England’s thrashing of Italy have been roundly condemned.
England ran in eight tries as they outclassed and overpowered Italy 57-14 at Twickenham to stay in the hunt for the Six Nations title.
Eddie Jones’ side were in total control throughout on Saturday as tries by Jamie George, Jonny May, Manu Tuilagi and Brad Shields had the bonus point in the bag and a 31-7 lead by halftime, with Tommaso Allan grabbing the visitors’ lone score.
However in the ITV post-game coverage Woodward questioned Conor O’Shea’s demeanor before the match in Twickenham.
Addressing the panel, Woodward said: “Conor, great guy and all that stuff but he is smiling and joking before the game and I think that’s not professional sport”.
Twitter didn’t take kindly to his words:
"..Conor, great guy and all that stuff but he is smiling and joking before the game and I think that's not professional sport.." ?
— Russ Petty (@rpetty80) March 9, 2019
Horse shit comment. Why can’t you smile and joke in professional sport? https://t.co/U1MjjHoj3q
Total disrespect from Woodward. Embarrassing.
— Ian Frizzell (@rava_ian) March 9, 2019
Have you ever been to one of Woodward's consultancy talks? Not just last century…more 19th century
— Tony Carter-Burns (@TonyCarterBurns) March 9, 2019
I hope Connor tells him to "fuck off".
— Ian Price (@goatteeboy) March 9, 2019
Just ignore anything Woodward says. He’s become a standing joke in world rugby. I actually think he’s got onset dementia
— SparkyBorderTerrier (@LordSparky) March 9, 2019
Relevance of his punditry is vanishing, how much longer can they keep wheeling him out to say the same stuff?
— peter jarrett (@peterjarrett3) March 9, 2019
Ironically, O’Shea credits a meeting with Woodward as changing his career when they met in a hotel in 1995.
“I was pretty disillusioned with rugby,” he told the Irish Independent last year. “It’s funny how Clive changed things.
“Bringing over so many Irish guys (to London Irish) kicked the IRFU into saying we have to change and that’s how the Irish rugby system we see today was born. And he introduced me to my future wife too. So that has to be good!”
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