Former-English national team coach Sir Clive Woodward believes English Rugby Union has become a “laughing stock”, after it was revealed that Sam Burgess was to leave Bath to return to Rugby League in Australia.
Burgess made his decision after the disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign from the hosts, a squad he was a part of.
Woodward does not blame the now South Sydney Rabbitohs player for what he calls an “all-time low” and a general “mess” for the English rugby union game.
The 2003 World Cup winning coach was not the only notable figure in the sport to speak out following the announcement, as current head coach for the England team Steve McNamara said Burgess could have gone on to become “one of the greats”.
Burgess scored four tries in his one year stay at Bath, having played a total of 21 matches for the Somerset team.
Woodward spoke about the RFU and the way they had been wrongly congratulating themselves in recent years for the direction English rugby had been heading in.
“The RFU has spent the last four years congratulating itself on the direction in which we’re heading, but the truth is we have marched confidently into a total mess.
“We are the laughing stock of not only world rugby but also sport and business. The rest of the world says those involved in English rugby are arrogant. I hate this reputation, but that is exactly what the RFU has been.
“The saddest part is the players and fans have been let down. To get it right on the field of play you have to get it right off the field.”
Stevenage football club have announced that their manager Teddy Sheringham has registered himself as a player, in order to be able to participate in the club’s Hertfordshire Senior Cup tie on Wednesday with Welwyn Garden City.
The former-England, Spurs and Manchester United star will play on Wednesday at the age of 49, and will be joined by his assistant at the club, Kevin Watson, who has also been registered at 41 years old.
The move will come as more of a shock for those who are not fans of ‘Boro, with the club stating it was “not an uncommon occurrence at the club”.
Former-goalkeeping coach Dave Beasant was named on the bench for the club’s League Two play off first leg against Southend United last season, a tie they would eventually lose over the course of both legs.
Sheringham scored 11 goals in 51 appearances for England on the international stage, and originally hung up his playing boots back in 2008 at the age of 42 – after a short spell with Colchester United.
A spell as an attacking coach at West Ham United ended in May as Sheringham was offered the chance to take the helm at Stevenage. It us not yet known whether the ‘Boro boss will be considering himself for the chance to grace the grass in any of the club’s League Two fixtures, but who knows if he bags a few on Wednesday?