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Martin Johnson Quits As England Team Manager

Source: thewillnigeria.com
JOHNSON WAS CAPTAIN OF THE ENGLAND TEAM THAT WON THE 2003 WORLD CUP
JOHNSON WAS CAPTAIN OF THE ENGLAND TEAM THAT WON THE 2003 WORLD CUP
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England team manager Martin Johnson has stood down after three and a half years in the role.

His decision follows a miserable World Cup which ended in quarter-final defeat by France and featured a series of on and off-field controversies.

The 41-year-old won 84 caps for England as a player, leading the side to victory in the 2003 World Cup.

Johnson and the Rugby Football Union's director of elite rugby Rob Andrew will hold a press conference at 1600 GMT.

The position of Johnson's backroom staff of forwards coach John Wells, defence coach Mike Ford, scrum coach Graham Rowntree and attack coach Brian Smith is not clear.

Graham Henry, Nick Mallett and Jake White, former coaches of New Zealand, Italy and South Africa respectively, have all been suggested as possible replacements for Johnson.

Under the former Leicester second row's leadership, England won the Six Nations earlier this year, but it proved to be the only tournament success of his time in charge.

After a series of unconvincing performances in the group stages of the World Cup, England fell in their first knockout match.

A series of reviews into the campaign have been announced against the backdrop of internal upheaval at the RFU.

Acting chief executive Martyn Thomas stepped down from all roles at the organisation while stand-in captain Mike Tindall has been removed from the elite player squad and fined £25,000 for his conduct in New Zealand.

Former England captain Will Carling believes that Johnson should continue in a different capacity at the RFU.

"Sad for MJ. The man was an awesome player, incredible captain. One of THE greatest England players/ servants. Hope there is a role for him," he tweeted.

The England job was Johnson's first role in charge of a rugby team on the touchlines rather than as an on-field leader.

"Johnno didn't have the CV to do the job but the RFU backed him and he backed himself and unfortunately and regrettably he came up short," Johnson's former England and British and Irish Lions team-mate Jeremy Guscott told the BBC.

"The writing on the wall for Johnno was when he selected Steve Borthwick as captain.

"That was what he thought was the right decision and many others didn't and for many that was the beginning of the end.

"There was a brief highlight in beating Australia away from home and thrashing them at Twickenham, that gave us all expectation of what was to come.

"They won the Six Nations but their performance at the World Cup was abysmal and that was the end."

BBC SPORT