Martin Johnson steps down as England coach
Under-fire England team manager Martin Johnson has quit after a disappointing World Cup in New Zealand which was marred by ill-discipline, reports said on Wednesday.
Johnson was blamed for failing to impose his will on the England squad during the tournament in which his team exited at the quarter-final stage following defeat to France.
The BBC reported that Johnson and England’s director of elite rugby Rob Andrew would hold a press conference at 4pm GMT.
Johnson (41) who lifted the World Cup with England as captain in Australia 2003, has been the team’s manager for three and half years.
England’s tournament in New Zealand was blighted by images of senior player Mike Tindall apparently drunk in a Queenstown nightclub after a group stage match and “inappropriate” remarks made by players to a female member of hotel staff in Dunedin.
Tindall was fined and dropped from the England squad for his conduct relating to the drunken night out.
But Johnson defended Tindall who was forced to apologise for misleading the England management about his movements that night.
The off-field antics continued to hit the headlines even after England were knocked out of the tournament, as Manu Tuilagi was detained by police and fined by his England bosses for leaping off a ferry into Auckland harbour.—Sapa-AFP. .