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England team to avoid in RWC draw

Sun, 02 Dec 2012 14:10
Clivewoodward Chris-robshaw-with-coaches- Richiemccawgutted
It makes the draw fascinating
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Clive Woodward says England are the team to avoid in Monday’s 2015 World Cup draw following their heroics on Saturday.

England produced one of the all-time great performances at Twickenham to beat the All Blacks by a record 38-21 scoreline and end the world champions’ 20-match unbeaten run.

The victory, however, wasn’t enough for England to unseat France as the top northern hemisphere side and fourth-ranked team on the IRB World Rankings.

New Zealand, Australia, who moved up to second place thanks to their last-gaps win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, South Africa and 2011 World Cup finalists France are the top seeds in the pool allocation draw to be held in London on Monday.

And Woodward believes none of the top four will want to be grouped with the English giant killers and 2015 World Cup hosts.

"It was a great, great victory for the English team," Woodward told Sportsweek on Radio Five Live.

"The scoreline absolutely reflected the performance and it was a great, great day to be at Twickenham.

"They have some great players in there - Joe Launchbury, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw - who were world class on Saturday.

"They had lost the previous two. This was a real David and Goliath effort. They came out and threw the kitchen sink and New Zealand got completely rattled. Every phase of the game they won.

"It makes the draw fascinating given England have just demolished New Zealand. The top four sides will not want to be playing against England. The draw is really important because it shows which way you go through the quarterfinals, semifinals.

"That one result yesterday will make the southern hemisphere teams sit up and say for once 'we want to keep away from England'."

The 2003 World Cup-winning coach added that it was an important victory for the northern hemisphere and a major boost ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia next year.

"If England had not won yesterday, the Six Nations would have been a second division competition but because of what England did, and to some extent Ireland beating Argentina comfortably, it just sets the Six Nations up absolutely huge,” he said.

"It also sets the Lions year up really, really well now."

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