Johnson to assess England future
Martin Johnson will consider his future after England crashed out of the Rugby World Cup with a 19-12 quarter-final defeat to France.
England paid the price for a terrible first half at Eden Park, in which they shipped two soft tries and 16 points to leave themselves with a massive uphill task. Ben Foden and Mark Cueto scored after the interval as England tried desperately to fight their way back into the game, but it was too little, too late.
Johnson, whose contract with the Rugby Football Union expires in December, said immediately after the game: "I'm not getting into that conversation now. It's not the right place and not the right people or the right time. Give it a couple of days. I think if anything I'll honestly assess myself and how we've been and we'll see how we go."
He continued: "It's not the time now, I'm just disappointed for everyone. The backroom staff have all put so much work into it and had their hearts set on staying to the end.
"I'm disappointed for those guys as well. The England fans, over here, watching on TV. That's what World Cups are about. There's a big reward, what you can get at the end of it and the joy, but there's also the risk of how you feel right now."
Johnson, who has overseen 21 victories and a draw in the 40 Test matches since he was appointed in 2008, knows the ball is in his court.
The RFU's acting chief executive Martyn Thomas has already opened the door for Johnson to continue if he wants to, and he has significant backing from within the camp.
The one complication could be the shifting sands within the RFU's corridors of power. Johnson may demand assurances about how the political infighting will play out.
Johnson's one silver lining from the campaign is that he believes this England team's best days are still ahead of them - and that means the 2015 World Cup on home soil.
England's defence coach Mike Ford said: "He's definitely the man for the job. The organisation, the RFU, doesn't want to throw away his experience. He's been fantastic. I think they'd be foolish not to retain him. I don't think there's a better man to lead England."