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Matt Dawson's view

Matt Dawson
By Matt Dawson
Former England scrum-half

There is no question that Martin Johnson is the right man to be England manager and the best man for the role, because of what he can bring on and off the field.

Matt Dawson and Martin Johnson
Dawson (left) and Johnson played together at international level

He has an aura and a presence which the public can see on the field.

But off the field Johnson is someone the younger players will have admired and watched as they were growing up - and he is the man who lifted the World Cup trophy.

Martin is a winner and however the appointment happened, I believe England can develop into a winning side and his presence will ensure a real positivity around the team.

However, it has been sloppy by the Rugby Football Union for such a huge announcement to be out in the public domain. We've been reading about this news for the past few days.

The RFU has to look at itself because it's got to be about professionalism and I wouldn't be surprised if that is something Martin seeks to address.

It's not just about the playing and coaching - the name of the RFU needs to be brought up a couple of levels after this episode.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer
I think Martin will have a good idea who he wants as his head coach.

He will take the time until he takes up his post at the beginning of July to maybe go through a few permutations of what will and won't work.

Martin will also have more than a passing interest in the England team which will be touring New Zealand in June.

Players will have to stand up and be counted because New Zealand is a treacherous place to play at the best of times and it will be a tough encounter.

If players can come away from this tour with a few stars against their name, as far as Martin is concerned, it will put them in good stead.

As for whether Danny Cipriani or Jonny Wilkinson will start at fly-half, at the moment you have to go with Cipriani on current form. He has proved that he can deliver on the big stage.

But somehow I don't think that will be the most difficult decision Martin has to make in the next couple of months.

Matt Dawson was speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live


see also
Johnson named as England supremo
16 Apr 08 |  English
RFU chief should resign - Moore
16 Apr 08 |  English
Johnson's career in photos
16 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
The verdict on Johnson
16 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
England 14-9 France
13 Oct 07 |  English


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