May 26, 2013
England manager Martin Johnson resigns
England rugby team manager Martin Johnson has resigned after 3-1/2 years in the job following England's flat performances and exit in the quarter-finals of the recent rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) scheduled a news conference at their Twickenham headquarters with Johnson and professional rugby director Rob Andrew for 04 pm and though there was no official RFU comment, sources at the governing body confirmed that his resignation would be confirmed.
Johnson, England's 2003 World Cup-winning captain, steered England to their first Six Nations title in eight years but his contract was due to expire at the end of next month
He had made clear in October, after the 19-12 loss to France ended a World Cup campaign characterised by a lack of discipline on and off the pitch, that he was considering his position.
Others had also questioned his future.
"We were knocked out in the quarter-finals and we played poorly throughout the competition," former RFU vice-chairman and Lions prop Fran Cotton said last month.
"Martin has now been in charge 3-1/2 years and it is very difficult to understand what style of play this England rugby team is all about."
A series of unwanted front-page headlines accompanied England's underwhelming World Cup with stand-in captain Mike Tindall subsequently thrown out of the elite player squad and handed a hefty fine for his off-field antics.
Tindall, married to Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara, was photographed drinking with a "mystery blonde" in a bar in Queenstown during the tournament.
Speculation about who might replace Johnson has been clouded by internal chaos at the RFU, with acting CEO Martyn Thomas leaving next month.