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'I feel sorry for Martin Johnson' - Woodward

The ex-England manager has attacked the RFU for failing to provide adequate support to the departing boss.

Woodward helped England win the World Cup as coach in 2003.
Woodward helped England win the World Cup as coach in 2003.

FORMER ENGLAND COACH Clive Woodward has criticised the RFU in the wake of Marin Johnson’s departure as the side’s boss.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he indicated the board let Johnson down by failing to support him.

Johnson formally announced his exit from the England set-up on Wednesday, saying it was an “easy decision”.

He left following the side’s underwhelming World Cup quarter final defeat against France.

And to exacerbate matters, the team were accused of behaving poorly by critics and were involved in a number of off-field controversies.

And on Johnson’s decision to step down, Woodward said:

“Basically I feel quite sorry for Martin Johnson because if you are asked to coach England you are going to say ‘yes’. Let’s be brutally honest, he had no coaching experience, no managerial experience, so it was a huge risk by those who put him in.”

He also said the RFU should have installed a more experienced assistant to help Johnson during his time as coach:

“I just don’t feel they put anybody alongside him to help him, to negate that risk, to make sure that the risk was worth taking. He’s an iconic figure, he’s a brilliant guy, but that didn’t seem to fit very comfortably with him.”

There has already been a number of names linked with the vacant position since news of Johnson’s decision to quit, with ex-Australia coach Eddie Jones believed to be among the contenders.

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Paul Fennessy

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