What the papers say: Woodward exits with a flourish

Sir Clive Woodward’s exit as England rugby coach was an exercise in how not to resign.

Days of speculation preceded Friday’s press conference, when Woodward accused the Rugby Football Union of being ‘toothless and apathetic’ (Daily Telegraph, 4 September), citing inadequate player release and lack of control as his reasons for leaving.

‘Woodward was majestic: blunt, lucid, incredibly honest – and not remotely afraid to rub all and sundry up the wrong way’ (The Guardian, 3 September). But although the tirade made good copy, it did less for his job prospects. The Evening Standard said the RFU’s handling of the negotiations was ‘a PR fiasco’ (3 September). The fallout compromised Woodward’s future as British

Lions coach, and he had to apologise to rugby directors.

Although some thought his exit had much to do with England’s recent poor performances, respect for his achievements was clear.

Woodward could still emerge with his reputation intact, and successfully engineer his long-awaited move into football.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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