MX23RW : Friday, June 18 03:55:02| >> :600:3010290:3010290:

On This Day: Martin Johnson bids farewell with Leicester defeat

On This Day: Martin Johnson bids farewell with Leicester defeat
© Reuters
England's World Cup-winning captain saw his Leicester team beaten 39-14 by Wasps in the Premiership final.

On this day in 2005, the final match of Martin Johnson's illustrious career ended in disappointment when Leicester were defeated 39-14 by arch-rivals Wasps in the Premiership final.

Twickenham was a fitting stage for possibly England's finest ever player to strap on the armour for the final time, although three years later he was to return as manager of the national team he had served with such distinction on the pitch.

Even a great of Johnson's stature was unable to write his own script as an incredible 500th career start ended in a emphatic defeat in front of a 66,000 crowd.

Martin Johnson walks out at Twickenham for his final match
Martin Johnson walks out at Twickenham for his final match (David Davis/PA)

"I'm very disappointed, not because it's my last game but because we didn't do it today. We haven't played and it's a nasty feeling," England's only World Cup-winning captain said.

And it was towering displays from England team-mates Joe Worsley, Josh Lewsey, Simon Shaw and Lawrence Dallaglio that spoilt his farewell as Wasps leapt into a 13-0 lead and retained mastery of the Tigers throughout.

Neil Back, Johnson's erstwhile colleague for club and country, also experienced a miserable send-off on an afternoon when Leicester finished a distant second best.

Martin Johnson led England to World Cup glory in 2003
Martin Johnson led England to World Cup glory in 2003 (David Davies/PA)

And it was a poignant day for Warren Gatland, who masterminded a third successive Premiership crown before stepping down as Wasps director of rugby to take up a coaching role in New Zealand as the prelude to distinguished service with Wales and the Lions.

Dallaglio, another England colossus who was to play for a further three years, revealed that Wasps were determined to ruin Johnson's last hurrah.

"When you turn on the radio and TV and keep hearing of Martin Johnson and
Neil Back – two of the greatest players the game has ever seen and they rightly
deserve the praise they get – it gets to you a bit," Dallaglio said.

ID:447382: cacheID:447382:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:5949:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Mike Brown during England training on February 19, 2019
Read Next:
Mike Brown handed six-week suspension for head stamp
>

rhs 2.0
Euro 2020 fixtures
Friday, June 18, 2021
 
2pm
Saturday, June 19, 2021
 
2pm
 
8pm
Sunday, June 20, 2021
 
5pm
Monday, June 21, 2021
 
5pm
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!