Home > Categories > Sports > Rugby > Sir Clive Woodward's Biography

Sir Clive Woodward's Biography

Browse biogs A-Z
Clive Woodward was born on 6 January 1956 in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

Woodward was educated at HMS Conway Naval College and at Loughborough University.

Clive Woodward played for Harlequins and Leicester and from 1980 to 1984 he was capped by England 21 times, and toured with the Lions in 1981 and 1983.

Clive Woodward coached Henley RFC, London Irish and Bath before being appointed England's first full-time coach in 1997.

It was not a smooth start. England's tour of 1998 was dubbed 'The Tour of Hell' and included a record 76-0 defeat by Australia

Sir Clive Woodward modernised England's preparation and approach. His style was unusual and prompted England captain Martin Johnson to say: "Clive used to call himself the 'Crazy Professor' and he wasn't far off."

In 1998, Clive Woodward gave future star Jonny Wilkinson his debut, whereas many critics were saying that Wilkinson, aged 18, was too inexperienced. Wilkinson said of Woodward: "His hallmark was his inexhaustible search for that step ahead."

Clive Woodward was in charge of the World Cup winning England side in 2003 but left the post the following year. The World Cup had been the culmination of an excellent year where England had won the Grand Slam and had a successful southern-hemisphere tour beating New Zealand and Australia.

Sir Clive Woodward received criticism as head coach of the Lions during their disappointing tour of New Zealand in June/July 2005.

Upon his return, Woodward became technical director of Southampton football club. He had often been seen in the stands with chairman Rupert Lowe and his involvement with Southampton had been much touted.

In July 2005, Sir Clive Woodward said: "There has been a lot said in the press implying I would be taking over the team but that is not my role."

In August 2006 Sir Clive Woodward left his post as technical support director at Southampton. His position had become increasingly difficult after the departure of Rupert Lowe.

Off the pitch before taking the England job, Clive Woodward had made a fortune with his computer-leasing company. On Sir Clive Woodward's website, he described aspects of his coaching philosophy including his debt to an Australian dentist, Woodward says:

"The disciplines I have implemented and the philosophies engendered throughout the squad and management team over the last four years had already proven themselves to be successful within my finance company."

In September 2006, Sir Clive Woodward was made Director of Elite Performance at the British Olympic Association (BOA).

Clive Woodward, who is married with three children, was knighted in 2004.

Back to Top

Latest User CommentsAdd your comment
Add your comment
To ensure you are a real person and not a computer please enter the following characters shown below: