Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Johnson in Final Talks over New Role with England; Managerial Role: Martin Johnson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Johnson in Final Talks over New Role with England; Managerial Role: Martin Johnson

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

MARTIN JOHNSON was today on the verge of completing a deal to becomeEngland's new team manager as he held his final meeting with Rob Andrew.

Andrew, the RFU's elite rugby director, wasn't present at this afternoon'smonthly briefing with the media at Twickenham, as he was putting the finaltouches to Johnson's seven-year contract.

Confirmation of the World Cup-winning skipper's appointment will come at aspecial meeting of the RFU Management Board next week when the immediate futureof current head coach Brian Ashton will finally become clear.

It appears, though, that his days in charge are numbered, as Andrew will imposeJohnson upon the coach.

Ashton had wanted to appoint his own manager but the elite director knew thatthe only way he could convince Johnson to come on board would be to offer himtotal control of England affairs.

It is not yet certain if Ashton or Johnson, whose wife is expecting a baby,will go on this summer's two-Test tour to New Zealand. …

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