Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Johnson shrugs off RFU chaos

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson has insisted the recent chaos at the Rugby Football Union has not impacted on England's World Cup preparations.

The RFU went into meltdown in the wake of John Steele's sacking last month, with chairman Martyn Thomas forced to stand down as a result. But England manager Johnson is confident it will make no difference to the country's World Cup hopes, as he continues preparations for the tournament in New Zealand.

"No, not at this stage," he told the Evening Standard. "If it was 18 months ago and we were wanting to make big decisions, maybe it would have. Two years ago would have been harder because we may have been looking for some new players. But everything's in place in terms of our preparation. We're set up here."

He added: "The last four weeks have just flown by. Next week is the last of our training camp and then we're into warm-up games.

"We're off in five weeks. We'll be on the plane before we know it."

Johnson continued: "It is really far removed from the players, it doesn't affect them.

"It's not going on at their club, to whom they're contracted. They come and play for England, so they're just getting on with what they do.

"They want to get in the World Cup squad, they want to get better as players. Their concerns are: what am I doing today, what's the training, what's for dinner?

"I doubt if there's been any huge discussions about it. It would have been the same in any team I've played in."

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