Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the rugby player. For the American adventurer called Martin Johnson see Martin and Osa Johnson
Martin Osborne Johnson (born 9 March, 1970 at Solihull in the West Midlands) is former England rugby union captain. Considered one of the greatest lock forwards of all time, Johnson is known for his strong leadership. Johnson led the England side to a Grand Slam and World Cup in 2003. He has toured three times with the British Lions, the only man to have captained them twice. He also led his club Leicester Tigers to two Heineken Cup victories and four domestic titles. Although retired from international rugby, he still plays for and captains his club, but has announced his retirement from all rugby effective at the end of the 2004-05 season.
He has played for Leicester Tigers since 1989. Although in 1989, Johnson was approached by former All Black Colin Meads to try out for King Country side in New Zealand. Johnson's try out was successful and he played two seasons for King Country. In 1990, he was selected for the New Zealand under 21 side which went on a tour of Australia. However, in late 1990 he returned to England as his New Zealand wife wanted to live in the UK.
Under his captaincy (1997 to 2003) the Leicester Tigers won four Zurich Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups. In February 2004 he took over the captaincy again in the aftermath of the departure of Dean Richards, the director of rugby.
He made his England debut in 1993, taking over the captaincy in 1999. He lead the side to three Six Nations titles and to its success in the 2003 World Cup. He retired from international rugby in January 2004.
His testimonial match and farewell to competitive rugby, to be held at Twickenham on June 4, 2005, promises to be one of the biggest rugby events of the year. It will be historic in another way; the match will mark the return of All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu after a recent kidney transplant.
|English national rugby captain|
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