RUGBY : England manager Martin Johnson has been given a vote of confidence despite losing two out of three autumn internationals.
England manager Martin Johnson has been given a vote of confidence despite losing two out of three autumn internationals.
Johnson’s men went down 19-6 to New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday, following defeat against Australia and a poor performance in narrow victory against Argentina.
But Martyn Thomas, chairman of the Rugby Football Union, insists Johnson is the man to take England through to the 2011 World Cup and said: “I’ve got every confidence in Martin. The guy is an outstanding character. This is a guy who doesn’t walk away from things. He’s an excellent man-manager. He was a great captain on the field and is an outstanding man.”
Johnson’s coterie of coaches have come under fire and former England players such as Will Greenwood have said he will “be dragged down with them” if he does not make changes.
There have even been suggestions that he should bring in former Lions coach Ian McGeechan.
Thomas, however, maintained they would support Johnson, who has backed his coaching team, in whatever he decided.
Thomas, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme, said: “Martin’s getting on and doing the job and we can be satisfied with Saturday. Martin is a winner.
“I’m perfectly comfortable that Martin Johnson is the right man. If he decides he wants to do something then so be it, we’ll back him. At the moment Martin has made it clear he is happy with his coaching team.”
To the question of whether things might change if England had a poor RBS 6 Nations tournament, which starts in two months time, Thomas said: “We don’t go around firing coaches. We tend to sit back and look at what’s happening.
“At the moment he has my confidence to continue and carry on. Martin will lead us into the World Cup in 2011 for sure.”