Woodward has told his players they must commit to the three-Testtour of Australia and New Zealand in June if they want to play in thisseason's Six Nations and the 33-year-old Johnson is reportedly unwilling to makethat commitment.
And the head coach has as good as signalled Johnson's departurefrom the international scene. "It was fantastic but now it's gone. We created a great team,but that team will never play together again," Woodward said.
England open their defence of the championship against Italy inRome on Feb 15. Woodward was reported to have drawn up a shortlist to replaceJohnson as captain that does not include Wilkinson.
They are former skipper and No 8 Lawrence Dallaglio, scrum-halfMatt Dawson, blindside flanker Richard Hill and prop Phil Vickery.
Dallaglio, who was Johnson's predecessor as England captain,admitted he would love to regain his position if Johnson retires. Dallaglio held the post until drug revelations, which he denied,forced him to step down in 1999.
"I'm fairly realistic and philosophical about it," he said "Form is going to be the most decisive factor in any decisionand I am playing well."
Johnson has captained England 39 times during his 84 Tests, andplayed in the Five Nations Grand Slam in 1995 and Six Nations Grand Slam in2003.
Former England captain Will Carling said Johnson had nothing leftto prove.
"It is probably the hardest decision he will have to face. Itis bizarre. It is a very personal decision for him to have to make." Carlingtold BBC Radio.
"Martin has been one of the most honest players we have everhad, he is one of the greatest, and I think he is going to be honest with himself. Every year you come out and want to improve as a player, asa captain, you want the side to improve - if he feels that is gone, then he shouldretire. He is still a world-class player, there is no doubt about that. But ifthe desire to prove in every area and that hunger has gone, then what else hashe got to prove to anyone?
"He has been a successful Lions captain, he has won the GrandSlam as a captain, the World Cup - he has done everything. It is quite anincredible record that he has, and maybe that is where he has suddenly thoughtthere is nothing else, no other peaks for me to climb," added Carling whoretired in 1997 after winning 72 caps.