Sir Clive Woodward, who led England to World Cup glory in 2003, will be inducted into the Rugby Players’ Association Hall of Fame on May 9 in London.
The 62-year-old former Leicester, England and Lions centre, will join two of his World Cup winning team Jonny Wilkinson and Martin Johnson in the Hall of Fame which also includes All Black Cup winning star Dan Carter.
Woodward oversaw an unprecedented period of England success including 22 consecutive wins at Twickenham and 14 successive victories home and away against Southern Hemisphere opposition which laid the foundations for the Cup triumph in Sydney in 2003. Woodward was unable to translate that kind of domination into his role as Lions head coach in 2005, enduring a test series beating by the All Blacks along with criticism for assembling the biggest ever tour party.
He also led England to three Six Nations wins, including a Grand Slam in 2003, and Woodward, who ended his playing career captaining Manly RFC in Sydney, said: “It is a great honour to be inducted into the RPA Hall of Fame, alongside some wonderful players and personalities who have contributed so much to the game. I still consider myself a player first and a coach second.
“It was my experiences as a player that have shaped my approach to coaching. I still view the game through a player’s eyes and I am sure that is why I love the game now as much as ever.
“I would like to thank Damian and the RPA for their tireless support to players and for this great honour. I would also like to thank all those team mates, players, coaches, colleagues and friends who have made rugby so special for me.”
RPA Group CEO, Damian Hopley, said: “Sir Clive remains the only Northern Hemisphere coach to lift the Webb Ellis Cup and his achievements with the national side have rightfully enshrined his place in English rugby history. Many of the infamous class of ’03 have been inducted into the RPA Hall of Fame and it is rightly fitting that Sir Clive joins them.”