Martin Corry is convinced Martin Johnson remains the right man to lead England into the next World Cup.
Johnson has come under mounting pressure following his team’s disappointing quarter-final exit to France last weekend but former Leicester, Lions and England team-mate Corry is convinced that calls for Johnson to be removed from his post should be ignore by the Rugby Football Union.
Corry, who played at two World Cups and skippered both England and the Lions, admits that the RFU need to make changes but insists that Johnson should remain in his role despite results in New Zealand.
“Yes, there needs to be some sweeping change but it should be carried out by Martin Johnson,” said Corry.
“I can’t believe some of the reaction there has been to the early exit. A lot of the criticism just hasn’t been logical.
“Johnno has made good progress during his time in charge and there is competition for places with plenty of players capable of coming through and playing with pride in a white shirt.”
But while Corry has given his full backing to Johnson, he has been less complimentary about the behaviour of some of the players Down Under.
England regularly received headlines for the wrong reasons during their seven-week stay, with a drunken night out, allegations involving a female hotel worker and Manu Tuilagi’s recent ferry jump blighting their World Cup campaign.
And Corry, who was known for his ultra-professional approach during his time as a player, believes it is the England squad rather than Johnson who should carry the can for their actions on and off the pitch.
“Every team has a code of conduct and it is down to the players to be adults and adhere to it,” added Corry, who won 64 caps for his country and picked up a World Cup winners medal in 2003.
“They were given responsibility by a coach who quite rightly didn’t want to treat them like children and they let him down.
“There’s nothing wrong with going out and having a beer or two – players who have come out of the woodwork and suggested that never used to happen have short memories.
“There has to be a fine balance, though, and once the players hit the headlines for the wrong reasons they should have been whiter than white.”