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Special Lions team shaping - Woodward

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    12 Feb 2017     Getty Images

England scored a late try to Elliot Daly to claim a win that former British and Irish Lions and World Cup-winning England coach Sir Clive Woodward believed would have had All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and his management sitting up and taking notice.

In his Daily Mail column Woodward said the game had been a fabulous example of Six Nations rugby at its best.

"I'm beginning to think the 2017 British and Irish Lions could be a very special team indeed," he said.




"What England demonstrated yet again is that if you don't put them away when you are on top they will bite back with interest.

"Last summer in Australia they won Tests that they could, and should, have lost, last week at Twickenham they should have lost to France and again in Cardiff there were periods when Wales seemed to be bossing the game," he said.

Woodward said Wales could have tied the game up but kept attacking and paid the price.

"Make no mistake England earned the victory. They defended superbly for long periods and they turned up determined to 'play' which is not always easy to do in Cardiff.

"They were positive at all times, as were Wales, and the result was a game that crackled from start to finish. There were so many performances to enjoy," he said.

Woodward singled out Joe Launchbury for his 80-minute effort for England while the combination of Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric had been exceptional for Wales in securing an 8-1 win in the turnover department.

Woodward said the play of England halfback Rhys Webb would ensure that he was in consideration for the side, and not necessarily behind the favourite for the role Conor Murray.

"He's a clever player and has the pace and strength in the break to really make things happen. He's confident and confrontational and it takes no stretch of the imagination to see him doing something special down under," he said.

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