Martin Johnson has been named as England manager until the end of 2011, while Brian Ashton has been axed.
Johnson’s appointment was the RFU’s worst kept secret, and he was officially announced as the boss last night. The terms of Johnson’s contract have been ratified, and he will have full control over team selection and the appointment of coaches – while Ashton isn’t part of his plans and will step down with immediate effect. Johnson will only only take over from July 1 as his wife is expecting their second child at the time of England’s tour to New Zealand. Rob Andrew will have this managerial role on tour, with coaches Mike Ford and John Wells retained.
“I am passionate about the England team and delivering success for it,” the former World Cup-winning captain said in a statement.
“While I cannot take up my position until July 1 for personal reasons, I will be working closely with Rob and the England coaching team on selection for the Barbarians match and the New Zealand tour, as well as selecting the first senior elite player squad of 32 under the new agreement between the RFU and Premier Rugby.”