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19th Mar 2022

Shaun Edward’s latest achievement leaves Clive Woodward’s blood boiling

Patrick McCarry

Clive Woodward

Don’t leave me hanging, Shaun…

Clive Woodward had another mini 2003 World Cup reunion on ITV, this evening, as the broadcaster covered England’s final day tilt at France in the Six Nations.

Woodward was joined by Jonny Wilkinson and Lawrence Dallaglio, as well as host Mark Pougatch, as they covered England’s attempts to throw a spanner in France’s pursuit of a Grand Slam.

The coverage was always going to be England-focused, but many viewers expected more to be made of Fabien Galthie’s side, and their achievements, after their 25-13 win secured a Grand Slam. Not Clive Woodward, though.

The former England coach was all positivity for the second half performance of England and the fight they showed in pushing France until the very end. He also took time out to praise England No.10 Marcus Smith, whom he claimed outshone Melvyn Jaminet and Romain Ntamack.

As if that was not enough, Woodward lamented how France were so reliant on English coach Shaun Edwards. The Wigan native, and former rugby league star, cut his union teeth as defence coach with Wasps and Wales, under Warren Gatland, but was snapped up by France in 2020.

Edwards was instrumental in Wales winning four Grand Slams, and one other Six Nations title, over an 11-year spell. On ITV, Woodward said:

“France have the best coaching team in the Six Nations by a long way. Makes my blood boil when I see Shaun Edwards coaching for France.”

Clive Woodward and the long wait

For those needing to cool off, themselves, after those Woodward comments, there came a classic moment of awkward TV gold.

Edwards, in his France tracksuit, popped over for a post-match interview with ITV. After, he was embraced by Dallaglio as Woodward hung out a hand for far too long. Even the normally unflappable Wilkinson started to feel uncomfortable as Woodward’s hand was held aloft and unnoticed.

As Shaun Edwards headed off to rejoin the celebrations, Woodward would not be denied.

He left the broadcast desk and chased Edwards down, eventually getting in a quick hug.

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