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England defeat Australia

7th October 2007

Clive Woodward guided England to their World Cup success in 2003 but quit a year later, blaming the structure of English rugby for hindering the Test team. He had wanted to spend more time coaching the England players and also felt they needed to play fewer games.

"England have moved on hugely in the last few weeks," said Woodward, reflecting on their 12-10 win over Australia in Marseille in the World Cup quarter-finals.

"You just couldn't imagine England could have played like that after the South Africa defeat a few weeks ago.

"It just shows you what you can do if you keep the players together and have a good coaching team around them. You can get huge improvements very quickly.

"We have fantastic players in England, but to compete at the top level you have to keep players together for quite a long time.

"You have to get the preparation right and provide individual plans for the players."

Three years after Woodward's resignation, the RFU and Premier Rugby - which represents the 12 Premiership clubs - have finally agreed details on a new framework to cover the professional game.

Part of that new framework agreement would allow the England team to have a two-week build-up before both the autumn internationals and the Six Nations.

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