Johnson calls grow

Former England hooker Brian Moore has called for World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson to take over from Andy Robinson as coach.

Moore, capped 64 times for England and five times for the British and Irish Lions, believes Robinson’s tenure will come to an end when the embattled coach meets with the RFU on December 7, although he meets with elite director Rob Andrew later today for preliminary discussions.

“I strongly suspect that the decision that Robinson must go was really made after the Argentina game and, if so, it should have been executed at that time because all else was disingenuous,” Moore told the Daily Telegraph.

“It will be interesting to see who announces the decision and who takes responsibility for it. Rob Andrew must be that person as he must be seen to be in control of this area and to accept responsibility for his choices.

“He must also lead the search for a replacement.”

For Moore the RFU need look no further than the man who lead his side to victory at world rugby’s showpiece event in 2004.

“I see no reason why Martin Johnson could not successfully fulfil the manager’s role.

“Enormous credibility and recent knowledge of the players available for England would be allied to a deceptively sharp brain and every effort should be made to get him to at least consider the offer.”

Johnson would be a popular choice amongst the English fans but one has to question the wisdom asking a man with no previous coaching experience to lead a side out of the disaster England find themselves in.

The wiser options would perhaps be former Wasps boss Warren Gatland, Bristol’s Richard Hill and backs coach Brian Ashton, whose names have also been thrown into the hat, but prop Phil Vickery disagrees that change is necessary, warning the RFU not to do ‘anything silly’.

“It is not rocket science to work out after a performance like that, we are not favourites to win the World Cup,” said a matter-of-fact Vickery.

“But we have got good players, and we hope to get others back from injury.

“I just hope they keep ‘Robbo’ and the coaches together. It can work, but it does take time. I hope the powers-that-be don’t do anything silly.”