Woodward adds Tigers to Olympic workload

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The Independent Online

Sir Clive Woodward appears to be on a personal crusade to become some kind of administrative Colossus in British sport.

Not content with his onerous role as the Elite Performance Director of the British Olympic Association, Woodward, 51, who led England to Rugby World Cup glory in 2003 has accepted an invitation to join the board of Leicester Tigers. On the face of it the appointment is perfectly logical. Woodward played for the Tigers 148 times between 1979 and 1985, and he has business acumen to boot, but his Olympics job is a demanding one.

There is also a tinge of irony with his return to club rugby. During Woodward's tenure as England head coach he frequently ran up against Leicester and other senior clubs over, among other things, the thorny issue of player availability. Now he is back on the clubs' side of the fence. Whether he can juggle these two exacting roles – the Leicester board holds regular monthly meetings and there are also sub-committees in between times – remains to be seen.

But Tigers are clearly confident in the workaholic Woodward's ability to hold down the two jobs. He is one of two former Leicester players to come on to the board, the other being former England wing and record try scorer Rory Underwood. A third new face on the board is the chartered accountant and Tigers fan Terry Gateley.

England's World Cup captain Phil Vickery believes that the team must find "stability" as they build towards the next tournament in 2011. The Rugby Football Union are conducting a thorough review into England's performances at the World Cup. There have been reports of disharmony in the camp, particularly after their 36-0 pool thrashing by South Africa last month.

When asked what England need to achieve looking forward, Vickery said: " Stability. We had such a roller-coaster ride. I know there are lots of things going on in the background but I think that – any time, any player – you need stability, whether that is coaches, selection, off-field – all of it."

Director of elite rugby Rob Andrew is heading the RFU's review, which will analyse all aspects of the World Cup. Coach Brian Ashton and his backroom team have received praise from the RFU for their efforts but the nature of their roles long-term are yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, Mathew Tait's solid performances at full-back during the tournament have raised the possibility of him taking over the role for Newcastle following the season-ending injury to Matt Burke.

The Falcons director of rugby, John Fletcher said: "His strengths are that he has pace, takes people on, he has a rigid defence, kicks well, catches well, and is a footballer."

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