England legend Martin Johnson has revealed the toughest opponent he shared the field with in his illustrious rugby career.
A giant of the game in more ways than one, the 2003 World Cup-winning captain is widely regarded as one of the greatest locks to have ever played the game.
Speaking exclusively to SPORTbible, Johnson said: “A guy like Jonah Lomu could do things that nobody could do and change games.
“We played New Zealand in a really tight pool game in 1999 and we were getting on top of them, then he ran 60 yards and scored a try.
“Nobody else on the field could’ve scored that try and they went on to win the game. But even he needed his teammates… sometimes he didn’t.”
“The game has changed a bit since then. This New Zealand team, Carter and Richie McCaw were two massive pieces for them and they’ve kept on winning without them.
“That’s testament to often you see a team and the depth of players they produce. rise and fall. they’ve got consistency of coaching. We’d have to play them, BUT WE’RE All a bit old, give us six weeks training.”
LIST | 5 times Martin Johnson proved he was rugby’s greatest captain
Known for his strong leadership and no-nonsense approach to the game, 2003 World Cup winning Captain of England Martin Johnson is often perceived as the best rugby leader of all-time.
Here’s five times he proved this was true…
1. The moment of World Cup victory
Australia 17-20 England, 22 November 2003
Johnson, like all great players, delivered when the stakes were at their highest and arguably saved his best England game for last.
His performance in the World Cup final was exceptional – dominant in the line-out and brutally effective in the tight exchanges.
When England threatened to lose a game they should have won handsomely, he galvanised his troops for one final push.
Clear-headed enough to set up the winning position in the 100th minute, his leadership brought ultimate glory.