Sir Clive Woodward slams Pacific Nations for backing Bill Beaumont and takes aim at 'shameful' behaviour of Six Nations

Sir Clive Woodward slams Pacific Nations for backing Bill Beaumont and takes aim at 'shameful' behaviour of Six Nations

Former World Cup-winning England coach Sir Clive Woodward has blasted nations for their handling of the World Rugby Chairman elections.

Woodward took exception to Fiji and Samoa for their support of Sir Bill Beaumont while he has criticised the "shameful" voting process used by the Six Nations to re-elect Beaumont - bar Wales - for not even listening to Pichot's plans.


Writing in his latest Daily Mail column, pointed out that despite the 28-23 final vote in Beaumont's favour, the incumbent chairman had essentially won the contest against Argentina's progressive challenge Agustin Pichot by one vote.

 


With the Six Nations each carrying three votes in World Rugby's heavily weighted system in favour of the countries formerly referred to as "tier-one", Woodward wrote that "if perennial underperformers Italy had voted the other way, Gus Pichot would have carried the day". 

 


The 2005 British and Irish Lions coach reserved the harshest criticism for the emerging nations of Fiji, Samoa, Canada and Japan who purportedly all backed Beaumont's campaign.

 

"If that is the case, our sympathy will be limited if those nations utter a word of complaint ever again at the lack of opportunity to play T1 nations or, in the case of the Pacific Island teams, about their best players being nicked by other countries," wrote Woodward in his column.

 

"Or being left virtually penniless when they play the likes of England in front of 80,000 at Twickenham — matches that gross in excess of £14 million for the RFU. Players in those countries should be outraged and asking why their unions did not vote for change."

 

Woodward said it was "shameful" that Wales alone of the Six Nations had met with Pichot to discuss his plans and proposals and took aim at the northern alliance's closed-shop approach.

 

 

"The rest of the Six Nations have let the wider game down," wrote Woodward in the Mail. "They haven’t engaged publicly in debate and they were always going to vote en bloc — for the status quo and their own financial interest.

 

"They don’t really want the wider game to grow and improve, for there to be promotion and relegation from the Six Nations, or for there to be any kind of democracy in the voting. 

 

"They don’t want their place at top table to be threatened. Rugby is going nowhere until their unnatural monopoly is broken."

 

Woodward was also concerned about the divide that clearly existed between the leading nations of north and south (who collectively backed Pichot) at a time when rugby's financial situation was nearing breaking point because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

"That split is unhealthy, there is no joined-up thinking between the bigger nations; no genuine wish to grow the game elsewhere and let others in," he wrote. "As a result, the world game will just get smaller and smaller. The actual number of competitive nations never seems to increase so many of them have nowhere to go and the odds are too heavily stacked against them.

 

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