Lancaster has been handed the reins for the RBS Six Nations following Martin Johnson's departure in the aftermath of a disappointing World Cup.
Lancaster spent five years as head of the academy at Leeds before spending two seasons in charge as director of rugby.
From there, Lancaster joined the RFU in 2008 as head of elite player development - with his role seeing him oversee the academy set-ups as well as the overall management of the U18, U20, Sevens and Saxons representative sides.
However Woodward, who guided England to the World Cup in 2003, feels Lancaster has a lot of hard work in front of him.
"Considering the fact that he's never coached a team at Premiership level he must be thinking how lucky he is to get this opportunity," Woodward, the British Olympic Association's director of sport, told the Guardian.
"You wish him well but international rugby is a tough environment. My advice to him would be to play it down.
"Look, he's spoken a lot of common sense but it's easy to talk common sense. How can we make any judgments when we've not seen how his teams even play? In the end he will be judged solely on results. The Six Nations is a tough competition and he's got a lot to prove."
Woodward, who has consistently been linked with a return to Twickenham in some capacity, has been impressed by Lancaster's public relations skills but stressed that the real test would come on the pitch.
"A fresh approach was needed at Twickenham and it's (been) good media work," he added. "But the closer he comes to the first game, against Scotland, the more he'll realise this other stuff is irrelevant. The relevant stuff is about how his players hit the first rucks and how they use the ball they win."
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