Rugby World Cup 2011: RFU to review Johnson's position

The Rugby Football Union will carry out a review of England's World Cup campaign before deciding whether Martin Johnson is to continue as manager.

England exited the tournament on Saturday when they were beaten 19-12 by France in the quarter-finals.

"The key thing is that we take the next four to six weeks with Martin and review what has gone on," said RFU operations director Rob Andrew.

Johnson became manager in April 2008 and his contract runs until December.

Defeat by France marked only the third time - the others were 1987 and 1999 - that England have failed to reach the last four of a World Cup.

Afterwards, Johnson refused to comment on whether he intended to continue as manager and said he would spend the next few days considering his future.

Andrew added: "Martin will reflect on what has happened and why we have gone out in the quarter-final of a World Cup.

"It is very disappointing that it has happened. The important thing now is to take stock. We said right from the start that we would take this right through to this World Cup with Martin in charge.

"We have done that and now we will sit down with Martin and look at what has happened. It is my job to look at the review and take it forward and at some point in the next few weeks reflect and then make a decision.

"We will do that as quickly and as openly possible as we can."

There is currently something of a power vacuum at the RFU. Martyn Thomas is the acting chief executive following the departure of John Steele from the role earlier in the year.

Thomas resigned as chairman because of controversy over the way Steele's departure had been handled as well as the failed attempt to appoint a performance director.

Johnson's win percentage as England manager is is 56.6% from 38 Tests. He was appointed to replace Brian Ashton despite having no coaching or managerial experience, which led many commentators to question his suitability for the role.

At the time of the appointment, then RFU chief executive Francis Baron said: "Nothing is risk-free in life. No-one fills 100% of the requirements of a job from day one but I don't believe this is a gamble at all. It's the right decision."

Johnson retired from playing in June 2005 and, in November 2007, admitted: "There's nothing to say that just because you've played at the top level you'll make a good coach or manager."

On the pitch, the former Leicester, England and British and Irish Lions captain was revered as one of the finest leaders the British game has ever produced. He is the only man to captain England to World Cup victory or skipper the Lions twice.

He won 84 England caps, 39 of them as captain, and led Leicester to four successive Premiership titles between 1999 and 2002 as well as successive Heineken Cup triumphs in 2001 and 2002.