When too old to compete on the ground any longer, some former players put on suits and take their disputes to another level.
There is another level beyond apparently, if the recent torrential criticism by former England World Cup rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward directed against the RFU and its current chief Ian Ritchie is any indication.
Woodward feels that Ritchie’s approach to negotiations betwixt national and club teams is detrimental to the relationship, which is already often characterised as sour.
Not one to exhibit an immunity to hyperbole, Woodward sees the disharmony as potentially devastating. “We’re talking about the fabric of the English game here.
Woodward led England to the Webb Ellis Cup in 2003, the only time the country has ever made it to the top. He says he has no qualms with Ritchie’s recent selection of a transport as England’s head coach, but felt that the decision was based on economic considerations and the desire for a “super coach.”
It seems, however, that when Ritchie did hire an Englander for coach, Woodward was opposed to that route at the time.
To the casual observer, it would seem that if England wanted a “super coach,” it would go after a New Zealander. It would also seem that regardless of what Ritchie does, Woodward never approves.