Martin Johnson
England coach Johnson attends a news conference after their Captain's run in Auckland. REUTERS

According to the BBC, Martin Johnson has quit as England manager following a full enquiry by the Rugby Football Union's professional director Rob Andrew.

Johnson is understood to have shouldered the vast majority of the blame for England's shambolic showing at the World Cup in New Zealand and has quit his post with immediate effect.

The former World Cup winning captain had been in the post for three years and the BBC claims he has resigned. Johnson and director of elite rugby Rob Andrew will hold a press conference at 1600 GMT on Wednesday.

England were knocked out by France in the quarter-finals of the World Cup amid a spate of unsavoury off-field headlines.

The RFU recently punished Mike Tindall with a £25,000 fine and expulsion from the England elite squad for his part in the well-publicised events in Queenstown.

Johnson and his staff had publicly backed his occasional captain even though the Gloucester centre had refused to apologise for his misdemeanours. The man, who recently married the Queen's Granddaughter, Zara Phillips, then admitted to unintentionally misleading Johnson and his management team about that night's events.

The Daily mail claim Johnson was angry and disappointed by the developments in regards to Tindall particularly as he had publicly backed his player but privately acknowledges his failure to rein in his players.

In addition to Tindall's unprecedented punishment, James Haskell and Chris Ashton were each handed £5,000 suspended fines and warned about their future conduct.

The RFU's much maligned operations director Rob Andrew read in a statement last week: "We have considered all the evidence carefully and interviewed the players at length. These actions have not been taken lightly but we believe that in all these cases the sanctions are commensurate with the level of seriousness of what occurred.

"Mike Tindall's actions reached a level of misconduct that was unacceptable in a senior England player and amounted to a very serious breach of the EPS Code of Conduct. Whilst we acknowledge his previous good character it needs to be made clear that what he did will not be tolerated.

"Regarding the events in Dunedin, it should be stressed that the allegations of very serious wrong-doing made against Chris Ashton, Dylan Hartley and James Haskell by Annabel Newton, a member of staff at the team hotel, were entirely false. We do not believe the players had any intention to sexually harass or intimidate Ms Newton.

"However, the incident is precisely the kind of dangerous, compromising situation the players were warned about prior to departure for New Zealand and that they were specifically told to avoid in the EPS Code of Conduct. While we found that Dylan Hartley played no part in the ill-considered exchange with Annabel Newton, Chris Ashton and James Haskell's behaviour on 9 September did breach the EPS Code of Conduct and they have each been given suspended fines of £5,000. If they commit any further breaches of the Code before 31 December 2012 the fines will become due.

"Finally, these episodes and the subsequent disciplinary action should stand as a strong reminder that the highest standards of personal conduct are expected from any England player on and off the field."

More to follow.