Johnson not fazed by RFU wrangling
July 22, 2011
England manager Martin Johnson has dismissed suggestions that his squad has been affected by recent problems at the RFU © Getty Images
England manager Martin Johnson has insisted that the recent chaos at the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has not had a negative impact on preparations for the Rugby World Cup.
As the fallout from John Steele's sacking as chief executive continues to dominate column inches, Johnson has been in camp with his squad prior to warm-up clashes with Wales and Ireland in August.
"If it was 18 months ago and we were wanting to make big decisions, maybe it would have [impacted]," he told the Evening Standard. "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.
"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. 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."
Steele was ousted following the RFU's failure to appoint an elite performance director - a post linked with former England boss Sir Clive Woodward - but Johnson believes that any moves to address the situation would come 'too late in the day'.
"It's too late in the day for anything - whatever appointment would or wouldn't have been made. I'm still the coach, we're set on our course and we're happy with it," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.