England poised to name new captain
January 30, 2012
England boss Stuart Lancaster is set to name his captain for his side's opening Six Nations clash against Scotland © Getty Images
England boss Stuart Lancaster is set name his captain for the defending champions' opening Six Nations clash with Scotland on Saturday.
Harlequins back-row Chris Robshaw is favourite to get the nod but it is understood that the 25-year-old will only be given the honour for the Murrayfield showdown with Lancaster unwilling to make a permanent appointment. Robshaw only has only one Test cap to his name and only four less experienced players have captained England - Fred Stokes (1871), Fred Alderson (1891), Joe Mycock (1947) and Nigel Melville (1984) all of whom were uncapped.
Tom Wood was widely tipped to spearhead the Lancaster era but an injury to the Northampton flanker has forced a re-think by Lancaster who was hoping that candidates would "emerge" from their recent training camp in Leeds.
Leicester fly-half Toby Flood is another captaincy option sidelined through injury leaving Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley as the other leading contender to succeed England's World Cup skipper Lewis Moody who has since retired from international rugby.
Lancaster will name his captain at lunchtime and then cut his squad down from 32 on Tuesday night, with the exact starting line-up and bench to be announced on Thursday.
Players attending England camp:
Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Ben Morgan (Scarlets), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Matt Stevens (Saracens), Rob Webber (London Wasps), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Alex Goode (Saracens), Charlie Hodgson (Saracens), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), David Strettle (Saracens), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape