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Over and out: Johnson quits as England boss

Martin Johnson will confirm his resignation as England manager later this morning, according to reports.

Image: Alastair Grant/AP/Press Association Images

MARTIN JOHNSON WILL confirm his resignation as England team manager later this afternoon, the BBC reports.

Johnson’s decision to step down comes just five weeks after England’s disastrous Rugby World Cup ended with defeat to France in the quarter-finals.

As a player, Johnson captained England to a famous World Cup victory in Australia in 2003 and was seen as the standout candidate to replace Brian Ashton as team manager in 2008.

Earlier this year, the former international lock oversaw England’s 26th Six Nations title though he and his players were cruelly denied a Grand Slam in their final game by Ireland.

Tipped as the Northern Hemisphere’s top prospect for the 2011 World Cup, England’s campaign was overshadowed by poor on-field performances and “unacceptable” off-field behaviour, prompting the RFU to launch an investigation into what went wrong.

Johnson and the RFU’s elite rugby director Rob Andrew are expected to hold a press briefing later this afternoon.

More to follow.

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Niall Kelly

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