June International Tours

Johnson agrees to lead England



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Martin Johnson has accepted the RFU’s invitation to take complete charge of England’s international squad with effect from this month.

Johnson, 38, is understood to be in the process of finalising a seven-year contract that will see him through to the 2015 World Cup according to the Daily Mail.

The World cup winning captain’s contract is thought to give him the right to pick the team and choose his coaches, making him the single most powerful figure in running the national team since Sir Clive Woodward.

Brian Ashton’s future as head coach will depend on whether Johnson sees a role for him under a brand new chain of management command.


Johnson has no coaching experience but he is renowned for his leadership skills.

Now that he has agreed to do the job, his appointment will be a mere formality.

As the appointment has not been confirmed by the RFU it is not known whether Johnson will tour New Zealand with the England team as his (Kiwi) wife is expected to give birth at that time.

From June a new RFU agreement with the Clubs gives the RFU complete control over England players so that they get full say how often, where and when England’s elite players play.


Johnson’s influence on the field was hailed a major part of England’s World Cup triumph in 2003.


In the run up to that World Cup win England failed several times to secure a Grand Slam in the Six Nations and everytime England lost the match that would have given them the Grand Slam, Johnson was out injured.



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