England manager Martin Johnson has resigned.
Once a World Cup-winning captain, Johnson hasn’t had as much success as manager of the national side. On Wednesday, he quit his post after a disastrous 2011 World Cup campaign where England were knocked out in the quarter-final.
‘I think it is in the best interests of both the England team and myself not to carry on,’ he said. ‘I have a choice at the moment. If I hadn’t made that decision someone may have made it for me.
‘While we’ve had our most successful season with 10 wins from 13, we are disappointed with how we ended it with the World Cup. I think it’s the right decision at this time. It’s a thoughtful and considered opinion. Part of me regrets leaving the job in these circumstances. There is unfinished business and a feeling to put things right, but I won’t leave with any regrets.
‘The cycles are from World Cup to World Cup and you have to decide whether you are prepared to jump in for four years and wholly commit yourself to that job and weigh it up. I’m not.’
The position of Johnson’s backroom staff of forwards coach John Wells, defence coach Mike Ford, scrum coach Graham Rowntree and attack coach Brian Smith is not clear. Former New Zealand coach Graham Henry and former Italy coach Nick Mallett have been mentioned as possible replacements for Johnson.