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Clive Woodward

Clive Woodward

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BornEly, January 6 1956
Internationals21 caps between 1980 and 1984
InductedEngland v New Zealand (November 9, 2002)

Nation: England
Place of Birth: Ely, January 6, 1956
Position: Centre
Internationals: 21 caps between 1980 and 1984
Inducted: England v New Zealand (November 9, 2002)

Won a Grand Slam with England in 1980. Coached England to their first World Cup in 2003.
The following article has been adapted from the original by Dai Llewellyn, which focused on two players. It has been changed to highlight only the selected inductee’s information.

It is not unreasonable to expect that a player’s greatest memory of Twickenham would be their international debut at HQ, where the roar of the Ellimans Rub and the smell of the crowd would be stamped indelibly on the eye and the mind.

But that does not quite work for Clive Woodward. His favourite memory of Twickenham the place – as opposed to Twickenham the occasion – comes some half a dozen years before he made his international debut.

“It was September, before I went up to Loughborough,” he recalled. “I was playing for Harlequins and I remember we had a match against Cardiff. In those days Quins played all their big games over the road from The Stoop Memorial Ground, at Twickenham.
“I was 18. It was my first visit to Twickenham and here I was in the same team as the great England full back Bob Hiller and on the opposite side, among a clutch of internationals, was Gareth Edwards.

“There were three men and a dog to watch the game, but that did not matter to me because here I was using the same changing rooms that were used for internationals and on the same pitch with some great Test players. It was an amazing feeling and a great experience. It was great to get an opportunity to play there with the club.”

There is a symmetry to Woodward’s playing career which started and finished on the ground. He won the first of his 21 caps when he came on as a replacement against Ireland in the Grand Slam season of 1980. Tony Bond suffered a nasty fracture of his leg; Woodward came on and remained an integral part of the team for the rest of the season.

His final match was against the 1983 All Blacks when, although he did not add to the four tries he had scored for his country, he still played a part in England’s first victory over New Zealand at Twickenham since 1936.

Once again Woodward’s memories of the game are sketchy. “It was not a great game. I hardly saw the ball all match. They were without their starting front five.

“Don’t get me wrong: it was good to win, great to be part of a winning team, but that win was just a one-off and it was not exactly a memorable match. The only good thing about it was the win. Certainly there was no sense that we had taken part in creating a bit of history.”

But being inducted to the Twickenham Wall of Fame may well induce that feeling.

Article by Dai Llewellyn


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