17 Nov 2011

Johnson quits as England rugby manager

7:26 am on 17 November 2011

The manager of England's rugby team is resigning after a disappointing World Cup campaign blighted by ill discipline.

Martin Johnson says he won't be renewing his contract at the end of December.

England failed to reach their minimum goal of a semi-final spot in New Zealand, losing in the quarter-finals to France.

The campaign was dogged by a series of off-field controversies.

Johnson says the decision to resign was not one he came to quickly or easily but he feels it is the right decision at this time.

"The off-field things during the World Cup didn't help. We gave people the opportunity to report on us as they did. But it's not a kneejerk reaction," Johnson says.

Senior player Mike Tindall was fined and dropped from the squad after the tournment over his conduct relating to images of him apparently drunk in a Queenstown nightclub.

Players were also fined for making inappropriate remarks to a female member of hotel staff in Dunedin and Manu Tuilagi was detained by police for leaping off a ferry into Auckland harbour.