Quittin' time? Martin Johnson has seven days to decide on England future

The England boss has been given the opportunity to walk before an independent review panel decides his fate.

Johnson has been criticised in some quarters for failing to control his players' ill-discipline.
Johnson has been criticised in some quarters for failing to control his players' ill-discipline.

BELEAGUERED ENGLAND BOSS Martin Johnson has been given a week to decide whether he wants to stay on as England manager.

Despite going through the group stages unbeaten, England were criticised for the unconvincing manner of their early Rugby World Cup displays – concerns that were confirmed during last Saturday’s 19-12 loss to France.

To make matters worse, England’s tournament was also hampered by a series of off-field controversies, and this ostensible lack of discipline drew criticism from a number of ex-players.

And these disciplinary issues are set to be investigated, while Martin Johnson’s future as England manager will also be scrutinised by an independent review panel, according to reports.

In addition, former England prop Fran Cotton, who is set to head the independent review, has criticised the England team’s standard of rugby.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said:

“Martin has now been in charge three and a half years and it is very difficult to understand what style of play this England rugby team is all about. The basic skills of rugby at that level just aren’t good enough and I haven’t seen an improvement.”

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He added:

“I’ve given him seven to 14 days [from the day England flew home] to advise me of his position. What I need to know is if he wishes to be considered for appointment on 1 January.”

Johnson has been in charge of the team for the last three and a half years, and has come under criticism during his tenure for the perceived negative style of rugby that they play.

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Paul Fennessy

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