MARTIN JOHNSON has hailed England’s Six Nations title as ‘a fantastic achievement’ despite seeing his side lose the Grand Slam in Dublin. Johnson presided over England’s best Championship performance for eight since he won a Grand Slam as captain.

‘It is a fantastic achievement to win the Championship. We obviously feel flat tonight, after losing to Ireland but we will look back on this campaign as a success,’ he said.

‘I feel pretty proud of them and I said that to them, even with today’s performance.

‘We have been good four times and not so good once.

It is a heck of an achievement considering how many young players we have got and it is the first Championship for many of them.

‘The players are Six Nations champions and they are disappointed which is even better. It is a fantastic launch pad as we head towards the World Cup.

‘It is very hard to win this tournament as it is a hard, attritional competition.

‘You want high standards.

‘The highlight has been how well we have handled things as a team.

‘Players like Tom Wood and Alex Corbisiero have been fantastic, coming in to make their debuts. The team has come together very well.

‘It is a group where their maturity is far greater than their years for a lot of them and that is a good thing.

‘They have worked incredibly hard all the way through and it’s great to see them get some reward with this Championship.