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2012 Six Nations
Mallinder backs Wood for England captaincy
ESPNscrum Staff
January 6, 2012

Tom Wood would make a fine England captain despite not being the skipper of his Premiership side Northampton, according to the club's director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

Wood is part of the leadership group at Franklin's Gardens, though Dylan Hartley - another contender for the captaincy, along with Chris Robshaw - is captain. Mallinder, though, has backed Wood for the task of leading England into the 2012 Six Nations tournament, insisting the flanker would not let interim national team coach Stuart Lancaster down.

"He would fit the bill without a doubt," Mallinder told the Guardian. "I know the way Tom would do it. He wouldn't change his game or the way he speaks.

"He is not a massive talker but he says things that have to be said. He leads by example on the field and I think he could do the job.

"It's hard for me to comment on anybody else outside Northampton because I don't know them as well but in Wood and Hartley we have got players who could be very good England captains."

Mallinder also suggested there would be no problem with Wood being named captain of a team containing his club skipper in Hartley.

"It would be interesting but the pair of them get on really well together," Mallinder said. "We've got a good leadership group, there's no massive hierarchy. Dylan might have the word 'captain' after his name but they all lead in their different ways."

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