24 Nov 2008

Things could well get worse before they get better says England manager

6:16 am on 24 November 2008

The former England captain now manager Martin Johnson has called on his players to show their true "character" as they look ahead to the weekend's test against the All Blacks at Twickenham.

His call comes in the wake of England's record-breaking 42-6 defeat at the hands of world champions South Africa - their heaviest margin of defeat in all their home internationals, dating back to 1872.

Johnson maintains his side is containst he best players in England but England's 2003 World Cup-winning captain admits things might get worse before they get better, with the All Blacks on a verge of a grand slam.

England's previous worse defeat at Twickenham was the 41-20 loss to the All Blacks two years ago.

England have now won just four of their 21 Tests against Tri-Nations teams since win the World Cup five years ago.