Who was on the shortlist to replace Martin Johnson in 2011 & how they would've got on - Ruck

Who was on the shortlist to replace Martin Johnson in 2011 & how they would’ve got on

England head coach Martin Johnson decided to resign following England’s disappointing World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, but who was on the shortlist to replace him?

The RFU eventually caught everyone off-guard, appointing Stuart Lancaster, who was at one point 30/1 for the role.

Here were the initial top contenders for the job, according to The Telegraph…

Brendan Venter

What they said then: Former Saracens head honcho took the Premiership club from also-rans to title contenders in one season. Has proven adept at developing young English talent and striking the right balance between off-field socialising and on-field harmony. But he may be interested in the South Africa job.

How would they get on: Ruthless. He would have came into the job and dumped anyone from the senior squad he didn’t rate; just like when he arrived at Sarries when 15 players were told they didn’t have a future.

Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson once called him “an out-and-out thug” in his autobiography.

Venter may not have won any popularity contests, but he’d of assembled a squad that would have been ready for any challenge.


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