Ellis announced his retirement this week and Johnson, a former Tigers colleague, said: “I was sorry to hear the news about Harry having to retire from the game because of injury.
“Harry has been an excellent player who always gave everything for Leicester Tigers and England.
“From the first time he was involved it was obvious to everyone in the Tigers squad that he was a special talent and that he’d make a big impact for Leicester and England. I’m sure that if he’d been fit Harry would have continued to make a huge contribution to his club and country for many years to come.
“On behalf of the England squad I’d like to wish Harry all the best for the future.”
Ellis made his senior international debut at the age of 22 in the 32-16 win against South Africa on November 20, 2004, and collected his 27th and final cap in a 26-12 win over Scotland at Twickenham on March 21, 2009. He scored five international tries for England.