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Martin Johnson to be appointed England manager

Former England captain Martin Johnson is expected to be named as the new England team manager tomorrow ending weeks of speculation. The appointment looks set to bring an end to Brian Ashton's reign as England coach.  Johnson has made it clear that he wants full control over team selection and coaching selection and Ashton doesn't figure in these plans.

It's reported that Johnson has already spoken to the former Leicester coach Pat Howard and Northampton's Jim Mallinder about joining his coaching staff, while Wasps' Shaun Edwards has chosen to stick with Wales.

Johnson's playing career was characterized by his competitiveness and leadership, and just like Roy Keane's transition into management, it will be interesting to see if the the former England captain can cut the mustard.

While Ashton guided England to the World Cup final last year his 16 months in charge have been disappointing with the team have only shown brief flashes of the exciting, attacking style of rugby espoused by the former Bath coach.

But the future of English rugby depends on developing young talent such as Shane Geraghty and Danny Cipriani. Both are graduates of Ashton's National Academy, and if Johnson really wants to make a go of managing England he could do worse than ask Ashton to take up his old position as the manager of the National Academy.

Martin Johnson - rugby legend

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