England players let Martin Johnson down - Mark Cueto

Mark Cueto
Cueto has scored 20 tries in 55 appearances for England

England and Sale winger Mark Cueto believes members of the World Cup squad let Martin Johnson down in New Zealand.

The 31-year-old was part of a squad which came under scrutiny for a number of incidents including a team night out and comments made to a hotel worker.

"We all know what happened there and how the players sort of let him down," he told BBC Radio Manchester.

"I think he spent more time and effort cleaning up things off the field than he did on the field."

Cueto's World Cup was hampered by fitness issues, but he did score four tries in his two appearances, including a hat-trick against Romania.

Mallinder an obvious choice - Cueto

Despite Johnson's departure he feels the former World Cup winning captain should have been allowed to carry on.

"I still feel he was the right man for the job," he added.

"You look at the record over the past 12 months and you'd be amazed to think that his job was under pressure, but that's the way sport is.

"We'd all agree the performances weren't good enough and ultimately the main man takes the blame, but [I'm] massively disappointed for him."

The former Sale coach, and now director of rugby at Northampton, Jim Mallinder, has been heavily linked with the vacant position and the Sharks winger believes he is the stand out choice.

"He's the obvious one. I know Jim relatively well and Jim and Dimes [Steve Diamond] were the coaches here at Sale when I first came on the scene," Cueto added.

"Jim, whatever team he has been involved in, has always played a fantastic style of rugby.

"He's English, he's done well over the past 10 years with his coaching and his management so he's always going to be a candidate for the job."

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