June International Tours

Healey set for England backs coaching job



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England are said to be hoping to confirm Martin Johnson’s appointment as their new manager next week, in charge of an expanded coaching team that will include the man known as the “Leicester Lip” – Austin Healey.

The Daily Mail reports that a proposed new chain of command headed by their former World Cup winning captain is to be put before the RFU’s management board for approval, with Healey the surprise choice as backs coach in time for the end-of-season Tests in New Zealand.

Rob Andrew, the RFU’s director of elite rugby, took the first step towards securing Johnson’s comeback during a two hour long talk on Thursday.

The deal is not set in stone yet as there are a number of issues that have to be resolved. Johnson wants the right be able to hire and fire coaches which is currently Andrew’s responsibility.

Ashton will also have to abandon plans for the manager of his choice, ex-England captain Phil de Glanville, and indicate his readiness to work under Johnson.

Healey who has won 51 caps for England has played most positions in the England backline and his position is designed to take the load off Ashton and is expected to start with the June Tests in Auckland and Christchurch.

‘If Martin feels he can come in and work with the group of people who are already there, that is great,’ Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio told the Daily Mail.

‘But he might well feel that he wants to come in and work with a group of people who are his own men.’

‘They (England) have fallen a long way short of the standards we set some time ago and we need to get back to setting those standards again,’ said Dallaglio.

‘We seem to have been happy to have won a game without setting the sort of standards we used to. We’ve got to stop coming up with excuses about inexperience.

‘We’ve got to move on and make the next group of players the best they can possibly be.

‘I haven’t spoken to Martin for a while but I am sure he will be very straight-talking about his intentions and aspirations. He has the ability to do whatever he wants in rugby. His opinions will be valued and quite rightly so.

‘It would be a positive step forward but I still maintain that the way to create a winning environment is to have a group of people who are willing to work together and want to work together.

‘If he does come on board it will be something he will have given due consideration to. He knew what it took as a player and he will know what it takes in this role.

“It’s about getting results and we’ll look forward to that. When you have strong players and strong personalities, which inevitably you are going to get in an England team, you need strong leadership.

‘If you don’t, people become disaffected and disillusioned. That’s just a fact of life. If Martin does decide to come on board, I’m sure he wouldn’t have any problem in that role. It’s not about one candidate in one position, it’s about the chemistry between the people.

‘Wales’ success has not been based upon Warren Gatland but on a combination of him, Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley. It’s about knowing your role and not trying to do someone else’s role and understanding what is required.

‘Martin brings certain skills to the table, but that needs to be combined with everyone else to get the best out of the squad. I’m sure that is being carefully put together by Rob Andrew.

‘All you want is a team that is pulling together in the right direction and has the desire to work together and are looking at the bigger picture of how to make England the best team in the world.’

The RFU however have refused to confirm anything about the new appointments.


Healey came close to appearing for England in the 2003 Rugby World cup when he flew out as cover only to find that that he was not needed upon his arrival as the player had

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