Johnson silent on future after England loss

Martin Johnson refused to answer questions over his future as England manager after the team crashed out of the Rugby World Cup with a 19-12 loss to France.

Les Bleus will meet Wales next Saturday in Auckland after taking advantage of a shambolic showing by England which could yet spell the end of Johnson's reign as manager, with his contract set to expire in December.



Asked about his future, Johnson said: "I'm not getting into that conversation now. It's not the right place or the right people or the right time.



"We'll see. I'll give it a couple of days, assess myself and how we've been."



Although for the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Simon Shaw, Mike Tindall and captain Lewis Moody the defeat likely spells the end of their World Cup careers, Johnson believes England's future is bright heading towards hosting the 2015 tournament.



He added: "I believe this team's best days are ahead of it. A lot of them are at their first World Cup and they're better for the experience.



"We left ourselves with a far too much to do. It's brutal.



"France ultimately deserved to win."



England, who won all four group games to top Pool B, had set a semi-final appearance as their minimum requirement and fell short.

For the third time in World Cup history - after 1987 and 1999 - England go home having failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals.



Johnson was bullish, believing his side had begun the match well.



He added: "I thought we actually started the game pretty well when we had the ball. We got a five-metre line-out.



"I think the key thing in the first half was probably two things - their kicking game, their aerial game. They probably reclaimed a lot more of their kicks than we did.



"They won that battle that led to territory and then we had poor defence on the edge twice.



"We said in the week these guys will test you and be more clinical on the edge than anyone we've played - we've played fairly direct teams so far.



"That was the case. Our defence wasn't good enough. A couple of mistakes, two tries and it was very much up hill."



England went close to a try in the dying moments of the first half, but Wilkinson's pass failed to find intended target Chris Ashton.



France, meanwhile, were ruthless.



Johnson said: "With the ball we created two or three real chances in the first half, made some breaks and couldn't finish them off. That was the difference.



"They scored their two tries, we should've had two, we didn't have any.



"The one right before half-time would've made a huge difference.



"We didn't get it so we were chasing the game."



Johnson lamented mistakes in attack which cost his side the opportunity to hit back quickly.



He added: "I think the guys were very confident at half-time that they could fight their way back into the game.



"When eventually we scored (through Foden) we needed to score again pretty quickly and probably took a little bit too long to get a second one.



"We turned the ball over in their 22 a couple of times in the second half when if we had retained it we were really building pressure and momentum.



"That was the story of our night - those mistakes killed our momentum. And they put theirs away early.



"I'm proud of the way the guys fought back in the second half. Their effort was fantastic, but we left ourselves with far too much to do. It's brutal.



"That's what World Cups are. We talked about that. One team goes home with a smile, for everyone else it ends in tears for them.



"I'm just disappointed for all the players, particularly the guys that won't get a chance again.



"These are great opportunities to get somewhere special and we haven't taken it."

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine