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Martin Johnson’s future hangs on Rob Andrew’s England review

October 10th, 2011 by · No Comments · Features

• Andrew to head full review process of England’s World Cup
• ‘We will sit down with Martin and look at what happened’
• Watch World Cup video highlights, interviews and more

Rob Andrew, the operations director at the Rugby Football Union, will undertake a review of England’s failed World Cup campaign before deciding whether Martin Johnson should continue as manager. England crashed out of the tournament on Saturday with a 19-12 quarter-final defeat to France, who now play Wales next weekend.

Johnson’s contract expires in December and he said immediately after the game he would spend the next few days considering his options. The RFU’s acting chief executive, Martyn Thomas, had stated in the summer that the ball was firmly in Johnson’s court – but Andrew will head a full review process.

“The key thing from my point of view is that we take the next four to six weeks with Martin and review what has gone on,” said Andrew, who is Johnson’s line manager. “Martin will reflect on what has happened and why we have gone out in the quarter-final of a World Cup. It is very disappointing that it has happened. The important thing now is to take stock.

“We said right from the start that we would take this right through to this World Cup with Martin in charge. We have done that and now we will sit down with Martin and look at what has happened. It is my job within the RFU to look at the review and take it forward, and at some point in the next few weeks reflect, and then make a decision.

“We will do that as quickly and as openly possible as we can.”

Johnson, who captained England to the World Cup win in 2003, has been in hands-on charge of the team since the autumn of 2008. The final scoreline against France flattered England, who had failed to achieve their own minimum target of a semi-final appearance.

Only twice before, in 1987 and 1999, have England not made the last four of a World Cup. This failure is arguably worse because of the off-field issues that have scarred their campaign.

Johnson would not make any knee-jerk decisions. “I’m not getting into that conversation now. It’s not the right place and not the right people or the right time,” Johnson said. “Give it a couple of days. I think if anything I’ll honestly assess myself and how we’ve been and we’ll see how we go. It’s not the time now; I’m just disappointed for everyone. The backroom staff have all put so much work into it and had their hearts set on staying to the end.

“I’m disappointed for those guys as well. The England fans over here, watching on TV. That’s what World Cups are about. There’s a big reward – what you can get at the end of it and the joy, but there’s also the risk of how you feel right now.”

 

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