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Rolling maul could be All Blacks' undoing, says ex-England captain Johnson
Ex-England skipper Johnson hits back at All Blacks' coach's 'unfair' claim
The All Blacks may hate it, but former England rugby captain Martin Johnson loves the rolling maul.
"I love it, what is wrong with a maul?" asked the 45-year-old, before his appearance in An Evening In The Locker Room session by MasterCard at the St Regis Singapore with former Australia star Joe Roff and ex-Welsh player Tom Shanklin.
"It's been part of the game, it always has been, you can't have the game suit the way you like it to be all the time.
"I remember the All Blacks were fantastic in the maul in the '80s and '90s - they didn't complain about it then."
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had previously complained about the rolling maul being unfair and "bloody boring", as they have shown their vulnerability to the lineout drive.
While the All Blacks are the favourites to retain the World Cup in England later this month, Johnson believes that the maul may just be New Zealand's undoing.
The former lock said: "Hopefully, it could be their Achilles' heel, since they haven't got many weaknesses.
"You have to be able to play different types of games and handle different types of plays if you want to win the World Cup."
While New Zealand should have an easy passage to the knock-out stages of the tournament from Pool C, which also includes Argentina, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia, the same could not be said for 2003 world champions England.
The hosts are in Pool A - dubbed the Group of Death - with Australia, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay.
To compound matters, England are heading into this World Cup with a squad that are far from settled.
Dylan Hartley and Manu Tuilagi are exiled after separate disciplinary issues, Sam Burgess was named despite having only one international cap, and the 25-20 loss to France last month exposed plenty of selection worries for head coach Stuart Lancaster.
While Johnson acknowledged that England have not been good enough to win the Cup again after 2003, he brushed aside concerns about the English team leading into this year's campaign.
He said: "Warm-up games have reached a 'must-win' level... but they are forgotten in a bit, once you are in the tournament.
"Some players get injured or suspended, and you can't pick them. Ideally Stuart would love a more settled team, but he hasn't had the luxury of that, and you go in with what you've got."
Johnson, who managed England's 2011 World Cup campaign, also pointed out that the best teams may not necessarily win competitions.
He said: "The All Blacks had a fantastic team in 2007 but they didn't win the World Cup. England had no form going into 2007 and they reached the final - same with France in 2011.
"It shows that you can get there under the radar.
"You've just got to find that something extra to grab onto, grit your teeth, get your momentum and that will get you there."
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