Woodward's Bristol battling to survive

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    13 Feb 2017     Getty Images

Howevere, that job got a little harder at the weekend when the lowest-placed club went down 8-42 to Harlequins, leaving Bristol five points off the next closest side Worcester.

Woodward is eligible for England consideration through his grandmother and is looking further ahead rather than making an instant impact.

"I'm not thinking about it too much as there is a lot to focus on at Bristol," he told The Rugby Paper.

"We've got a massive few weeks coming up and getting side-tracked with anything else than helping the club avoid relegation will shoot us in the foot.

"We got off to a slow start but managed to get back within a fighting chance. Avoiding relegation comes down to us and our attitude," he said.

Woodward has been a boost for the club and as the side has looked to play more attacking rugby he has been a big contributor to that.

He said he drew on the confidence he gained from the latter stages of the Investec Super Rugby season with the Hurricanes en route to their winning of the tournament.

"I was getting frustrated mid-season because I thought I should be playing but I was getting mixed game time. So to then start the finals ahead of Julian [Savea] was a massive boost for me and I tried to bring it to Bristol when I arrived," he said.

"I watched films of Bristol's game which gave me an idea of where they were. I thought they weren't that far off from playing good rugby so I tried to drive that forward when I arrived, especially in attack.

"It's key for me that we back ourselves, play with a bit of width in attack and keep the ball in hand a bit more. It's been working pretty well and you can see guys flourishing playing that style of rugby.

"Wellington rugby is all about attacking rugby so that's how I see the game.

"But I understand the threat of relegation in Europe so you just can't throw the ball around all the time. It's a case of taking the best from both worlds really," he said.

And those Test aspirations?

"I watch a lot of Test rugby and I'm confident I can play at that level. I haven't had that discussion yet with Eddie Jones, but I back myself and being English-qualified was part of the interest of coming to Bristol," he said.