English Rugby
RFU CEO rules out Woodward return
ESPN Staff
October 9, 2012
England coach Clive Woodward, New Zealand v England, Carisbrook, Dunedin, New Zealand, June 12, 2004
Sir Clive Woodward back in his England coaching days © Getty Images

The chief executive of the Rugby Football Union Ian Ritchie has denied any suggestion of Sir Clive Woodward imminently returning to Twickenham.

World Cup-winning coach Woodward left his position as the British Olympic Association's director of sport last week and his departure immediately sparked rumours that he would return to the RFU. The organisation is currently advertising for a head of athletic performance to work alongside the England team but Ritchie, who is keen to draw on the expertise of those involved in the recent Olympics, has distanced Woodward from the post.

"We don't have any vacancies," Ritchie said. "I respect totally what Clive did in rugby and the Olympics, but I am not going to get into hypotheticals. I am very happy with the way things are progressing at the moment."

Woodward was linked with the England performance director post in the past but Rob Andrew has now taken on the majority of that role's responsibilities in his position as the professional rugby director at the RFU. And despite the RFU conducting a review into the performance department at the moment, Ritchie insists that Andrew's job is safe.

"Is this a shorthand for 'what does it mean for Rob Andrew?' Certainly not," Ritchie said. "Rob has been involved in this process and supportive of it. He has great expertise.

"We should be aiming in the next three years to be giving the best possible support to the England players and the England team at all the age levels and that is fundamentally what the review is about."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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