Robshaw retains England captaincy
January 21, 2013
Chris Robshaw has retained the England captaincy © PA Photos
England have confirmed Chris Robshaw as their captain for the forthcoming Six Nations in an appointment that has caused no surprise.
Robshaw has been retained after leading England to a record 38-21 victory over New Zealand at Twickenham on December 1 and will fill the post for a second successive championship. Northampton forwards Dylan Hartley and Tom Wood are viewed as potential captains, but coach Stuart Lancaster views 26-year-old Harlequins openside Robshaw as the outstanding candidate.
Lancaster, who announced Robshaw's reappointment at Monday night's squad meeting, believes the Lions captaincy candidate has developed into superb leader.
"Chris stepped into the role 12 months ago when we were building a new team and he has grown as a captain on and off the field," Lancaster said. "He showed those leadership qualities during the (autumn) internationals and especially against the All Blacks when the whole squad got behind him.
"We have a number of leaders and I know they will all take this team forwards with Chris as we look to kick on from that result."
Lancaster chose Robshaw for the captaincy when he first took the England job on an interim basis ahead of the 2012 Six Nations despite the Quins flanker having only played for his nation in one Test. Both flourished in their new roles and the duo helped guide England to second place in the tournament.
Robshaw was retained for the June tour to South Africa but missed the third Test due to a thumb injury. Hartley took the honour in his absence but come the autumn internationals, Robshaw was back at openside and in possession of the captaincy. He will now skipper England into the 2013 Six Nations which starts for Lancaster's men against Scotland on February 2.
"Stuart told me this afternoon and I am really pleased to be asked again," Robshaw said. "There are other leaders in the squad that Stuart could have turned to so I am really honoured. The lads have been great over the last year and now we our focus is on building on the New Zealand performance and getting a result against Scotland."
In related news, England are sweating on the fitness of fly-half Freddie Burns. He limped off for Gloucester on Saturday in their Amlin Challenge Cup match with Mont-de-Marsan and will face further scans over the coming days to determine the nature of his knee injury.
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