During his career, Sir Clive Woodward gained 21 caps for England. He was a member of the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa and New Zealand in 1980 and 1983 respectively. He famously coached the England Rugby Team to a Grand Slam in the Six Nations and then World Cup victory in Australia in 2003. Clive was knighted in 2004 and subsequently went on to become the Chef du Mission of the British Olympic Association for the Beijing and London Olympics in 2008 and 2012.
Here Dom Reilly talks to Clive about his career and travels around the world.
I was lucky enough to watch the RWC final in the Telstra Stadium in Sydney in 2003 and it remains one of the highlights of my life. What single thing stands out most in your mind about that particular campaign?
The England RWC team had some fantastic leaders during that campaign, such as Johnson and Dallaglio but more importantly every one of the players had a huge knowledge about the game. We would study and discuss every aspect of the game in our team sessions and knew exactly what we would do and how we would play in any given scenario. I hadn’t seen that approach taken before, and I haven’t seen it done since.
What's your favourite holiday destination and why?
It’s always a joy to go to Sydney, Australia. I lived there for a number of years, got married there and 2 of my kids were born there so it’s a special place for me. And of course it’s where England won the RWC!
What’s your preferred mode of transport and why?
I travel a lot and my diary is jammed packed so sometimes it’s important for me to be able to get from A to B as quickly as possible and at those times I love to jump on the back of a Limobike. Limobike is a passenger motorbike and it’s a great way to get around London and avoid the traffic. And it has the advantage of making me feel like James Bond for a little while!
What’s the one luxury you always travel with?
My Michael Johnson Performance bag from Dom Reilly goes everywhere with me. I never travel anywhere without it.
Who has been your greatest influence?
I was lucky to play under a coach called Jim Greenwood whilst I was at Loughborough University and he perhaps had the greatest impact on me. He isn’t renowned as one of sports great leaders, but as a rugby coach he was miles ahead of his time in his ‘Total Rugby Philosophy’. He was just a great man who you wanted to play for and a total visionary. I also love my football and I have always admired the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. Not only are they hugely successful coaches who have won so much but what makes them stand out is that they sustain that success over a long period of time and built and re-built a number of teams in that period which is something that not that many leaders are able to do.
Quick Fire Questions
Fry up or cereal?
Coffee of tea?
Macchiato with a little extra hot water
Champagne or beer?
Sand or snow?
Snow - I love skiing
Sea or swimming pool?
Sea - nothing beats being outdoors
Football or rugby ball?
Smart or casual?
Shoes or trainers?
Newspaper or tablet?
Novel or movie?
Clive Wooodward travels with his Michael Johnson Performance bag and the Dom Reilly classic laptop case.