Rugby will be dead in five years if more teams copy South Africa’s approach to the game, said World Cup-winning England coach Clive Woodward, criticizing the World Champions’ reluctance to running with the ball and their heavy reliance on the set piece. South Africa, which faces Australia in the rugby championship on Saturday, lost 28-26 to the Wallabies last week after the Australians beat the Springboks in their own game with a similar determination not to run the ball.
“Positive, imaginative and attacking rugby is the way to go in general,” Woodward, who coached England to World Cup glory in 2003, said in the Daily Mail. “I watched in horror last weekend the poverty and boredom of the South African squad against Australia. Rugby was not – and is not – meant to be played like this. and I’m just happy Australia won.
“It should be of concern to everyone involved in the sport that rugby is going down this path. He will be dead in five years if he does.” Woodward doubted even South African players would be happy with the way they played.
“The ball should always be your friend, not a time bomb,” he added. “What’s the use of neutralizing your best players, kicking the ball all day? I would love to sit down with the South African team and ask them, ‘Do you really like playing this? way ?'”
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