England's World Cup captain Lewis Moody revealed he is "genuinely gutted" that Martin Johnson has stood down as the national team manager.
Moody, who retired from international rugby after England's disappointing World Cup performance, believes Johnson is still the best man for the job.
But Johnson announced yesterday that he had decided, after much soul-searching, not to continue.
The Rugby Football Union are now in the process of recruiting the next England coach, who will lead the team into the 2015 World Cup on home soil.
"I am genuinely gutted for Martin and the team to hear that he has decided not to continue in the role," Moody said.
"As I've said before, having taken England to a Six Nations win for the first time in seven years and achieved 10 out of 13 wins for England this season, he has been a great asset to England, and in my eyes was the right man for the job - to take them forward to 2015.
"He was a great man to work with and under and I know that the rest of the team will agree that he will be sorely missed. I wish him all the best in whatever he goes on to do."Reuse content