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Girls allowed: Johnson encourages relaxed atmosphere as England set off for NZ

Una Healy can sort out her flights to New Zealand now.

England's Dylan Hartley and Shontayne Hape (right) arrive at Heathrow Airport yesterday.
England's Dylan Hartley and Shontayne Hape (right) arrive at Heathrow Airport yesterday.
Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THINGS WHICH YOU might see in England’s World Cup camp: Mike Tindall enjoying a beer; Dylan Hartley uploading Twitpics; and, em, one-fifth of pop group The Saturdays.

Martin Johnson and his men jetted off to their new home in Queenstown, New Zealand yesterday with the manager insisting that his players would not be bound by an extensive list of rules and regulations for the next eight weeks.

Instead, Johnson has decided to play the trust card, saying that his players are big enough and bold enough to make their own decisions.

So, while some managers might choose to restrict alcohol and visits from wives and partners, that is not part of Johnson’s blueprint for a successful campaign, according to the Daily Mail.

“We haven’t banned anything,” said Johnson, captain of England’s World Cup-winning side in 2003.

“When I started playing rugby at senior level you were dealing with blokes. They treated us like adults and there is no reason to change that now they are professionals and things are far more organised in the game.

They are there to make sensible decisions – if I can’t trust them, there is a simple choice for us to make.

Here at TheScore.ie, we’re particularly grateful that Johnno hasn’t banned Twitter. Otherwise, how would we ever know what Delon Armitage’s airplane face looks like? Thanks for that one, Dylan.

Read more of Johnson’s comments in today’s Daily Mail >

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Niall Kelly

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