Fox Sports’ David Haynes has revealed the decision to send former Australia coach Tony Woodcock on loan was not based on his fitness.
The 34-year-old was a key part of Australia’s World Cup-winning team and helped Australia qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Haynes, who played for Woodcock in the Australian backline, said it was important for the Kangaroos to get the right players into the team.
“It was important that we had a bit of depth at that position because at the end of the day, we’ve got players who have played a lot of time for the Aussies,” Haynes said.
“We’ve had some players who are not in our squad, who are playing overseas and are going to be key players in our team going forward.”
So we have got to go through this process of getting the right mix of players in the team and then the right timing and getting that right depth of players together and that’s what we’re working on.
“But you can’t make decisions based on who’s fit.
You’ve got a decision to make as to who’s the right person to come into the group and get a bit more playing time and we’ve done that at this stage in the season.”
Woodcock, who retired in March after winning the World Cup with Australia, will return to the Kangaroo ranks next season as a back-row coach, but Haynes feels it’s vital that Woodcock gets the proper rest and rehabilitation time.
“Woodcock has had a very good career,” Hayns said.
“He was a really good player.
He’s got a lot to offer and I think we all have to get him right.”
He said Woodcock’s ability to coach at the highest level and bring a different type of intensity and intensity to the squad had helped Australia to win a number of World Cups and that was a positive for the team in 2019.
“Tony Woodcock is a great coach and he’s had a good career, but you can never forget he was a World Cup winner as well and that is a good thing,” Hayne said.