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Rugby, Australian Football: Johnson out of Lions tour

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posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 02:38 PM
England World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson was effectively ruled out of the forthcoming British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand overnight when it was announced he would be playing in a match at Twickenham on June 4.

The match will also feature All Black great Jonah Lomu, as part of his testimonial season. The date coincides with the first game of the Lions' 11-match tour, against Bay of Plenty in Rotorua. Johnson, a veteran of three Lions trips and the only man to captain the Lions on two tours, retired from international rugby in January last year having won the last of his 84 England caps in the World Cup Final against Australia in Sydney two months earlier.

But the 34-year-old second row has continued to play club rugby for Leicester, leading to speculation that he and fellow England 'retirees' such as clubmate Neil Back and Wasps skipper Lawrence Dallaglio might still be considered for the Lions squad.

Associated Press


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