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Sir Clive Woodward admits recent Super League clash left him questioning the quality of Rugby Union

Sir Clive Woodward knows all about winning World Cups as his England side are the last rugby team from either code to taste success back in 2003.

His team overcame the Australians that day, something which this current crop of England Rugby League players will likely have to accomplish if they are to be successful in this upcoming home tournament.

Woodward, however, believes that Rugby Union could learn a lot from Rugby League.

Speaking recently on the Rugby League World Cup Podcast he proclaimed that he would rather now play the 13-man game over the code where he made his name, complementing the speed of the game.

“There was a game quite recently,” said Woodward. “South Africa playing Argentina and I was almost depressed by the end of it because it was such a poor game.

“There is a big thing right now about the amount of time the ball is in play and it was less than 30 minutes, it was in the 20s. Then straight after on Sky a Rugby League game came on, it was Salford playing against Huddersfield and I left it on.

“The game was fantastic! The speed of the game and the amount of ball in play. I think Rugby Union needs to look at this. I watched the whole match, it was a great game and Salford were fantastic.

“It was just the speed of the game. So I’m thinking if I’m a player, which I think I still am, I’m thinking which game would I rather play? I’m thinking it’s League.

“Watching the two games, there is none of this box kicking in Rugby Union, where players spending most of the game looking up in the air. I just sat back and thought that there is a real difference here.”

A positive view on Rugby League from one of the leading voices in the world of Rugby Union is always a good sign that the quality on display in Super League is still there, it just needs the proper exposure to spread the game to new audiences.

With Union seemingly struggling to produce exciting contests, particularly at test level, the door appears open for League to show a market of fans the best of our game and the sport has a perfect opportunity with this years World Cup.



  1. James

    October 3, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    I think that means one of the qualifications for a knighthood is being decades or longer on the uptake!


    October 3, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    The word “exposure” is an important one. I for one am sick and tired of a big game in Rugby League hardly gets a mention on national news broadcasts, yet other sports do.

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