Martin Johnson reacted today to Warren Gatland’s recent comments about Dylan Hartley, saying that it’s a clear sign of a coach and a team under pressure.
Speaking at the RBS Six Nations launch, Johnno said, “Wales haven’t had a big win for a while; they didn’t have a great autumn. He’s done it before, and it’s obvious what he’s trying to do in targeting one of the youngest guys in our pack.”
“It’s not very subtle,” he added, and that “it’s a bit premature with 10 days to go before the game. It’s not really my style to say anything back. It just gives our players ammunition, and people will remember the game not what’s said beforehand.”
Johnson went onto to say that he had no concerns over Hartley’s performance, citing the fact that he has led Northampton through the pool stages of the Heineken Cup without being defeated. “Don’t underestimate how hard that is to do,” he added.
“He’s got 20-odd caps now and is pretty experienced, captaining his club and playing well.”