Inside Lines: Steele shows mettle but no tug-of-war over Woodward

Will Sir Clive Woodward pick up the oval ball and run with it back to Twickenham, or will he kick it into touch?

There is little doubt that John Steele, the Rugby Football Union's new chief executive, sees the former World Cup-winning England coach as the ideal figure for the role of performance director, created as a result of Steele's overhaul of the game. Steele, appointed last September, has shown his mettle with this radical review but will not engage in a tug-of-war with the British Olympic Association, Woodward's current employers, knowing that Sir Clive faces a dilemma similar to his own when he had to decide whether to continue working towards London 2012 with UK Sport or return to rugby.

In his case rugby won, but no pressure will be put on Woodward to follow the same route.

While the BOA chair, Colin Moynihan, whose appointment of Woodward as director of elite performance caused initial conflict with UK Sport, would be disappointed to lose him, my understanding is that he will not stand in his way should he wish to go. So the ball is now firmly in Sir Clive's court. The question is whether he really wants a return to the rugby scrum after being allowed to wing it with the BOA, where he has overall charge of their coaching programme and has been named as deputy chef de mission for 2012.

The affluent RFU should have no problem in matching his reputed £300,000-a-year salary, but Woodward, 54, would need to be approached about the soon-to-be advertised job rather than being expected to apply for it. My hunch is that Woodward will see it through to 2012 with the BOA and then look towards moving to a football club.

He worked briefly with Harry Redknapp at Southampton before gravitating to the Olympic arena.

Daunting new fight for Elvis

Sad news of two popular giants of unarmed combat. Londoner Gary Mason, 48, the former British heavyweight boxing champion, a hugely likeable character who lost only once in 38 fights – to Lennox Lewis – was killed in a road accident when cycling on Thursday. We also learn that one of Britain's best-known judo champions, Elvis Gordon, a world heavyweight silver and European and Commonwealth gold medallist, is fighting cancer.

Elvis, 51, a Wolverhampton school caretaker, has lost almost half his original 20st. A fellow former champion, Neil Adams, is among those organising a testimonial fund. Donations can bemade by PayPal to:

Kell in the clear

Kell Brook, the undefeated British welterweight champion, still hopes his one-time amateur spar-mate Amir Khan can be tempted into a domestic dust-up later this year. Meanwhile, he is set to move closer to a world championship bout with a likely interim title fight in March, according to his promoter, Frank Warren.

In our interview with Brook last week it was stated he had been convicted and tagged following an alleged nightclub assault, an offence he has always denied. We are happy to makeit clear that subsequently this conviction was quashed following an appeal at Sheffield Crown Court when the alleged victim failed to appear and Brook, 24, described bythe judge as "a young man of good character", had his legal costs refunded. Sorry, Kell.

scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £550 - £650

£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...

Data Insight Manager - Marketing

£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape