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Johnson blasts player conduct


Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

England manager Martin Johnson has reprimanded three players for their conduct and left them in "no doubt" about his anger following complaints from a female hotel worker.

James Haskell, Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton were made to formally apologise to Annabelle Newton after she was upset by some inappropriate comments.

Addressing the allegations over player conduct in the team hotel, Johnson said: "I was angry with them. It is just the sort of thing we have talked about."

He added: "What they thought was humour and a light-hearted exchange has clearly not been taken that way by Annabelle, the girl involved.

"At the time they apologised when they realised they had stepped over the mark. They had no idea how upset she subsequently became."

The incident occurred in the days before England moved from Dunedin to Queenstown, where a number of players enjoyed a drunken night out which also hit the headlines.

Mike Tindall has been in the spotlight for his actions that night but his conduct was defended by Johnson.

Johnson added: "The guys formally apologised. They were shocked when they understood how upset she had become.

"We investigated the facts fully. They have been disciplined. They have been reprimanded for their behaviour and left in no doubt.

"If you leave yourself open for these headlines to be written it drags us all into it and that is what makes me particularly angry."

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