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Six Nations 2012: Chris Robshaw ‘deserves England captaincy’

Former England international Jeremy Guscott believes Chris Robshaw is the ideal candidate - despite his inexperience

The Sport Review
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Stuart Lancaster named Chris Robshaw as his captain on MondayPA Photos

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Jeremy Guscott believes Chris Robshaw is the right man to lead England for the forthcoming Six Nations games against Scotland and Italy, despite the flanker’s inexperience at the international level.

The 25-year-old was named as Lewis Moody’s successor by England head-coach Stuart Lancaster on Monday.

But questions have been raised over Robshaw’s suitability to lead England, with the Harlequins skipper winning his only cap over two-and-a-half years ago.

“Chris Robshaw may have only one cap but there’s nothing to say that he doesn’t deserve the captaincy,” Guscott told the BBC.

“He’s captain of a side that are not only top of the league but came desperately close to qualification in the Heineken Cup – I don’t think anyone can argue hard against the decision.

“The fact he only has one cap is, to my mind, irrelevant, but it will be picked up on if England were to capitulate at Murrayfield.”

Speaking after the announcement on Monday, Robshaw underlined the importance of England’s experienced squad members working in harmony during the tournament.

And Guscott, capped 65 times by England, believes Robshaw will have the support of senior players such as Tom Croft, Dylan Hartley and Ben Foden.

“On too many occasions under Martin Johnson there were games when the side lacked leaders,” Guscott added. “And you could see it because, when the team came under the cosh, no one stood head or shoulders above anyone else. They all went down together.

“Not one player looked as if they could rise above the mediocrity of performance from the team as a whole. I think Lancaster’s done a pretty good thing in creating a leadership group that gives them all responsibility, which means they’re all accountable.

“Robshaw’s the captain but Lancaster has mentioned the likes of Tom Croft, Dylan Hartley, Ben Foden. These guys are going to be helping Robshaw in setting the tone of the squad.

“They’ve been given the opportunity. I hope they grab it.”

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