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The verdict on Johnson

Martin Johnson
England will be hoping Johnson can lead them back to the top
England have confirmed the appointment of Martin Johnson as their new team manager.

As a player he tasted success with Leicester, the British Lions and England, who he inspired to World Cup success in 2003.

But this will be his first role in any managerial capacity. Can he overcome his lack of experience and lead his country back to the top?

IAN MCGEECHAN - THREE TIMES LIONS HEAD COACH

He is just an impressive person. I like to think when no-one else thought he was a captain, I did. I gave him the job with the Lions in 1997 as I knew the impact he had on his own players but also on the opposition.

Ian McGeechan
What he says he means and when he speaks people listen

He is hugely respected and a clever thinker. He doesn't mince words, doesn't overstate things and knows the difference between winning and losing and how to do it.

A person like that is a huge, huge asset.

He's also very studious and knowledgeable and thinks things through. What he says he means and when he speaks, people listen.

He will listen and he'll want a good coaching team round him. There are two teams when you are putting a rugby side together - your coaching team and playing team and he will make sure those two fit together. When you do, you get a very powerful mix.

LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO - EX-ENGLAND AND LIONS TEAM-MATE

Any successful coaching team comes from a chemistry between the coaches, everyone understands their role and everyone wants to work together.

Lawrence Dallaglio
He was one of the best players, but does he have experience in a different role?

Since the end of the World Cup, England needed to make some decisions and whatever it costs, just go out and get the very best people to do the job.

He was one of the best players, but does he have experience in a different role?

He could move seamlessly into the role if he's surrounded by people who have skills that he doesn't at the moment.

MARTIN CORRY - EX-LEICESTER AND ENGLAND TEAM-MATE

You just want Johnno at the helm. Coaching or managing, get him in there making the key decisions.

Give him as much responsibility as he can handle and let him get on with the job.

JASON LEONARD - EX-ENGLAND AND LIONS TEAM-MATE

I am not too worried about what term or job title is put to Johnno.

If he is England manager, coach or kit man, he will bring something to England that no other person could.

Jason Leonard
He will bring something to England that no other person could

People have said he has no coaching experience, but he is the most capped second row England have ever produced, and the only man to have lifted the World Cup for England.

He has so much experience that he can pass down to the new generation coming through, and I think he would a be a huge success in anything he does.

He is one of the most astute rugby players I have ever met, and one of the best players the world has ever seen.

BEN KAY - EX-LEICESTER AND ENGLAND TEAM-MATE

Johnno was a fantastic leader as captain of England. He will be a fantastic addition to the England set-up. In what capacity we'll have to wait and see.

I'm sure he'd be a part of the squad rather than just being behind a desk.

Whether he's the guy blowing the whistle and pointing the finger at training, or just directing the coaching group.

PHIL VICKERY - EX-ENGLAND TEAM-MATE AND CURRENT CAPTAIN

I hope whatever Martin decides, it's on his terms and the role is something that he wants to do.

Phil Vickery
I don't want to remember Martin Johnson as anything else other than a fantastic guy and a great captain

The unfortunate thing for me at the moment is that there is a lot of negativity around in the press.

I don't want to remember Martin Johnson as anything else other than a fantastic guy and a great captain.

I would hate for people to turn against him.

JONNY WILKINSON - ENGLAND FLY-HALF AND EX-TEAM-MATE

I'm sure Martin would be massively influential, as equally influential as when he was a player for sure.

Jonny Wilkinson
What's important in terms of a management style is that he has the right people with him

He has the qualities of a player inherent in him which I know to be the qualities of a good coach in terms of knowledge.

What's important in terms of a management style is that he has the right people with him, people who can work for him and can get his message, a winning one, across to the players.

It's important that his message carries on and he is able to influence what he wants, because if he can it'd be a good thing.

BRIAN MOORE - EX-ENGLAND HOOKER

He will be overall supremo like Clive Woodward.

Martin has no formal coaching or managerial experience but I don't think that makes a difference if he can get the right team under him.

It doesn't matter what you call him. You can only have one person in charge, he has to have the pick of people and they all stand or fall by each other.

CLIVE WOODWARD - ENGLAND'S WORLD CUP-WINNING COACH

If he does not take an active part, he will find it hard to gain the respect of the players.

Sir Clive Woodward
He has to work with people he respects

He must be a leader and a visionary and he must lead England in every single area of elite preparation.

He has to work with people he respects. If that means sacking medical people, physios, analysts, the lot, then it has to be done.

Both the last two coaches, Andy Robinson and Ashton, made it impossible for themselves by not going in hard at the start, and they have paid the price.

DANNY CIPRIANI - ENGLAND FLY-HALF

I've only met Martin Johnson once but I could see what a powerful person he is.

We've heard from the senior players what an inspiration he is and if he can bring that to the side England will be a lot better for it.

RORY UNDERWOOD - EX-ENGLAND AND LEICESTER TEAM-MATE

Johnno is a real statto - he played against all the different clubs and is still involved watching games.

Rory Underwood
He was always known as Mr Grumpy

He's into that detail, he brings respect and has very much his own ideas of how the game is played and organised.

He was always known as Mr Grumpy. He is not into huge long erudite speeches but into getting to the point with a very simple and very clear message.

ANDY ROBINSON - EX-ENGLAND COACH

For him it is a huge honour. He has real status as a person, he is outstanding in his knowledge of the game.

It is now important that he now surrounds himself with the right people that can take England forward. That is his challenge.

JOE WORSLEY - ENGLAND AND WASPS FLANKER

Knowing the man, hopefully he'll turn out similar to Warren Gatland.

They were both front five forwards, they have a real understanding of the game, an understanding of what makes people tick and they're very intelligent.

Jonno's now the man in charge and I'm sure he'll be very good at the job.




see also
Johnson named as England supremo
16 Apr 08 |  English
Matt Dawson's view
16 Apr 08 |  English
Johnson's career in photos
16 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
RFU chief should resign - Moore
16 Apr 08 |  English
Edwards admits talks with England
11 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Corry backs Johnson for England
08 Apr 08 |  Leicester
Johnson must be coach - Woodward
06 Apr 08 |  English
England target Johnson as manager
21 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union
Ashton's England future unclear
26 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union
Axe hanging over Ashton
13 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union
England win Rugby World Cup
22 Nov 03 |  Internationals


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