"Like father, like..."- Martin Johnson's son has trial with Gallagher Premiership club - Ruck

“Like father, like…”- Martin Johnson’s son has trial with Gallagher Premiership club

Martin Johnson, the former captain who led England to World Cup victory in 2003, has declared his lack of enthusiasm for a return to rugby. 

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Despite his three-year stint as head coach, which concluded in 2011 following England’s defeat in the World Cup quarter-finals against France in New Zealand, the 53-year-old has no plans to reenter the sport on a regular basis.

While he occasionally engages in coaching, it is not in a consistent or formal capacity.

Speaking with Lawrence Dallaglio on the Evening Standard rugby podcast,Johnson explained: “Well, I was watching the (recent) World Cup final. It was down to a point. Yeah, I was thinking, even if I was supporting New Zealand or South Africa, I’d probably be feeling sick right now, you know?

“I watch my boy (Henry) play rugby, do a little bit of coaching with him and I’m happy with that.

“I’m fine. I’m lucky we have done what we did [win a World Cup].

“I’ve not got a huge desire to put myself through that every Saturday.”

A tweet from The Friary School suggests that Johnson’s son has had a trial at his former club following a string of impressive performances.

They tweeted last October: “WELL DONE to George Worth and Henry Johnson (Y10) who have been invited to go for trials for Premiership Rugby team Leicester Tigers… Both boys working and training hard in our PE lessons and are starting to turn heads with their impressive performances… Go get ’em…”

Nigel Owens selects his all-time rugby dream team

Fullback: Israel Folau (Australia)

Owens said: “For me, it’s nip and tuck between Halfpenny and Folau, next to nothing to choose between them. Leigh is brilliant because under the high ball and with his kicking at goal under pressure. He may not always break the line when running but puts his body on the line in defence and is a top-notch match-winner.

“But I go for Folau – only just, I should stress – because of his ability to seemingly beat his man every time he gets the ball in his hand. He’s such an exciting player and like Leigh he is one of the best under the high ball.

“It’s a toss of a coin for me… and it’s come down in Folau’s favour.”

Winger: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Owens said: “How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.

“I know he’s a full-back for Scotland, but he is so quick and direct he could easily play on the wing. He reminds me a bit of Shane Williams with some of the things he does.

“When you see who is on the other wing in my team, you’ll see how they would work brilliantly in tandem.”

Fixtures for the Six Nations - Round 1

Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Owens said: “Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.

“A legend of the game who conducted himself superbly, on and off the pitch.”

Inside-centre: Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)

Owens said: “He’s another brilliant player and after every game, win or lose, he would come up and give me a hug. Ma’a has always found time at after-match functions or at breakfast if we’ve been staying at the same hotel to come over and have a chat.

“What a player, mind, too. One of the stalwarts of the New Zealand side for so many years.”

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales)

Owens said: “When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.

“But if I’m pushed, I would pick Shane for what he achieved after coming from football at 17 or 18 years of age.

“He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.”

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