SIR CLIVE WOODWARD’s bucket list: Finn Russell for the Lions, Fabulous France and Joshua vs Fury

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Sir Clive Woodward reveals to Sports messaging his 2021 sports bucket list ahead of a busy year with a Lions tour, euros and some great boxing fights.

Finn Russell at No.10 for the Lions

The deterioration of the Covid situation clearly casts doubt on this tour but dare to dream of the best scenario in which the tour continues in one form or another.

I would love for Warren Gatland to send a big message to South Africans and the world of rugby. We’re here to play, excite and wow fans around the world.

No more chauvinistic talk about defense, physicality, victory in the battle of territory with box-kicking – let’s talk about skill, rhythm and excitement. That’s what Lions should be.

Of course they have to match the Boks up front but I don’t think you will ever dominate the South African forwards. The Lions need to find other innovative ways to win and they should have a world class rear division based on offense and not defense and skill and not size.

Finn Russell at No 10 adds skill, pace and excitement and that’s what Lions need to be

England v France in the Six Nations on March 13

It is the match and the rivalry that will define the Rugby Test heading into the World Cup in France 2023. France is already very good and will only get better. Their makeshift third XV deserved to win at Twickenham last month.

England have the players and the squad and there are talented young people lining up, but they have to expand their game or they will continue to walk the water. I would love to see Eddie Jones take England off the beaten track.

Rugby is waiting for a team and a coach to break the mold. Whoever does it will reap huge rewards.

Olympic golf

Justin Rose won a magnificent gold medal at Rio 2016, but the tournament suffered a bit as many of the top pros stayed on the sidelines. No longer fool them.

I would love to see a team element introduced, especially men and women playing side by side. It’s too late for 2021 but Paris 2024 is a possibility. Meanwhile, it looks like most of the top players have rethought and the pitch will be stacked on July 29 when the action begins.

I would love to see a team element introduced to Olympic golf later this year

I would like to see a team element introduced to Olympic golf later this year

I would love to see a team element introduced to Olympic golf later this year

An old-fashioned day in rugby

Don’t you just want to sit in a crowded stadium among fans raving about the excitement? Rugby is in dire need of it, more than any other sport. Meet up with friends for lunch, a few pints, gossip, a big game, the post-game survey and debate.

The commotion, the singing, the bands, even the speaker presenter that I normally curse on a game day.

It looks like autumn is as soon as possible in Europe, but fingers crossed could arrive sooner.

A separate Minister of Sports

If the last 12 months have taught us anything, it is the massive importance of sport in our lives. A healthier country will take the strain off the NHS, but the individual benefits – physical, mental and professional – are clear.

We always had a Minister of Sports, but now he has been transformed into something called the State Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports.

The sports industry is huge, impacts millions of lives, and is a major employer.

We really need a big hitter in the cabinet to lead our battles, especially when it comes to budgeting for grassroots sports.

Ben Ainslie en America’s Cup

I first watched the America’s Cup in the 1980s when Alan Bond’s team stopped Australia with their famous victory in Perth and it has now become an incredible sight with the yachts of the space age reaching 50 knots.

Ben Ainslie’s Ineos team is against her. They have technical problems and lack working time with canceled regattas. The Americans are big favorites to win the challenger series which decides who faces the Kiwis but never dismisses Ben. He will have his team work 24/7 to upgrade his boat.

Ben Ainslie's Ineos team is against her.  They have technical problems with canceled regattas

Ben Ainslie's Ineos team is against her.  They have technical problems with canceled regattas

Ben Ainslie’s Ineos team is against her. They have technical problems with canceled regattas

England v Scotland to Euros

How epic will this pool game at Wembley be? Hopefully some sort of crowd will be allowed by then. I am very impressed with England under Gareth Southgate.

They have the players, a golden age, actually, based on those age groups that dominated the world a few years ago.

But, much like the rugby team, they have to bring all their skills and talents to the party.

Watching Manchester United play recently, it was a real treat to see Scott McTominay. He is special and will be at the heart of the Scottish effort.

I am very impressed with the England national team under coach Gareth Southgate (right)

I am very impressed with the England national team under coach Gareth Southgate (right)

I am very impressed with the England national team under coach Gareth Southgate (right)

Olympic Rugby Sevens

Rugby sevens could take to another level in Japan, where it will take center stage. I am delighted that the GB team has confirmed that our men’s and women’s teams will participate, although it seems like a missed opportunity not to have any female coaches.

The GB team had the chance to make a statement ensuring that women were on the coaches list.

Likewise, it would be nice if one or two of the world’s superstars could prioritize the Games. Like golfers, they would never regret it.

Joshua vs. Fury

If Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury lock the horns in 2021, it is a historic moment for British sport.

As the sporting director of the GB team, I had the chance to experience our amateur boxing scene and watching Joshua win gold in London 2012 was a highlight. I was disappointed that boxing was not supported by the £ 300million recovery fund made available for sport in the UK.

If Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury lock down, it will be a historic moment for British sport

If Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury get stuck, it will be a historic moment for British sport

If Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury get stuck, it will be a historic moment for British sport

I was disappointed that boxing was not backed by the government's £ 300million clawback fund

I was disappointed that boxing was not backed by the government's £ 300million clawback fund

I was disappointed that boxing was not backed by the government’s £ 300million clawback fund

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