Home Nations Rugby Heroes, No 13: Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson. Picture: TSPL
Martin Johnson. Picture: TSPL
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THE only Home Nations captain to lift the Rugby World Cup, Johnson is the most decorated British Isles skipper in history. In addition to that crowning moment against Australia in Sydney in 2003, Johnson also won five Five/Six Nations Championships, two Grand Slams, six Triple Crowns and became the only man to captain two Lions tours – winning in South Africa in 1997 and losing to Australia in 2001.

Johnson made his England debut in the 16-15 win over France in 1993. The Leicester lock went on to win 84 caps for his country. He took over the captaincy in 1999 after Lawrence Dallaglio had been embroiled in a tabloid scandal. He became the on-field leader of Clive Woodward’s revolution which ultimately led to World Cup glory. Johnson played eight Lions Tests – including two in New Zealand in 1993.

After retiring he was England manager from 2008-2011, winning the Six Nations in 2011.