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Hartley: Players are behind Johnson


Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

Dylan Hartley insists Martin Johnson retains the full support of England's players.

Uncertainty shrouds Johnson's future following a highly disappointing World Cup during which the squad were criticised for their performances on the pitch and behaviour off it. It is unknown whether Johnson wishes to continue as manager or if the Rugby Football Union want him to remain in charge.

Hartley, who was one of three England players warned by Johnson for making inappropriate comments to a female hotel worker while in New Zealand, said: "It's not my position to comment on what is going on in board rooms. All I can say is that in New Zealand Johnno stuck by me and stuck by the players, so the players will stick by him."

The Northampton captain added: "It wasn't only Johnson in New Zealand. There were 40 other people out there with him and we've got to stick together."

Hartley admits it has been a struggle to acclimatise to life after the World Cup, but insists he has learnt from the events in New Zealand.

"It's just a disappointment. Then there's the comedown," he said. "It has taken me a couple of weeks to readjust to life and be out of that World Cup circle, and that has been a comedown.

"The wonderful thing is that we get to play every Saturday and you can put things behind you when you play week in, week out. As a player, all I can do is play week in and hopefully play well.

"When the chance comes to play for England again then hopefully I can put myself forward for that.

"In all areas I have learnt. It's experience, isn't it?

"You get a year older, you play in a World Cup, another Heineken Cup, another Premiership campaign, you are always going to learn things. I have taken stuff from that."

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