Sir Clive Woodward has defended Eddie Jones after the England coach came in for criticism following injuries to Sam Jones and Anthony Watson on their Brighton training camp.
The injuries drew criticism from Saracens boss Mark McCall who views the timing of the three-day camp on the south coast as “flabbergasting” and “madness” due to its proximity to the opening round of European rugby while Premiership Rugby says the intensity of the training was not in keeping with the club-country agreement.
But Woodward, who coached England to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, has leapt to Jones’ defence in his Daily Mail column.
“For Eddie Jones, now is absolutely the right time to try different things in training,” Woodward wrote. “It might have been better to have preliminary judo sessions at clubs, so players were not tackling anything they had not done before, but that’s easy to say in hindsight.
“Eddie is looking ahead three years to winning the World Cup. Injuries five weeks before the 2016 November internationals are not a huge deal.”
Woodward adds his condolences for the injured duo and says while it would be unacceptable for England to be introducing new training methods — referencing their judo training — close to a World Cup, they have simply been “unlucky” in this instance.
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Woodward defends Jones over training camp
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