Stuart Lancaster backs England captain Chris Robshaw to shine
Head coach Stuart Lancaster declares his new skipper Chris Robshaw is ready to lead England "tactically and passionately"
Stuart Lancaster is confident Chris Robshaw will excel in his role as England captain despite having won just one cap – from more than two-and-a-half years ago.
The 25-year-old succeeds Lewis Moody, who retired from international rugby following the World Cup – and the Harlequins skipper will lead England for their opening two Six Nations clashes, starting with Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
“We have a strong leadership group and I have been very impressed with the way they have all stepped up so far,” said England interim head coach Lancaster.
“Chris is a key member of that group and has shown with Harlequins and when I have worked with him in the Saxons that he can lead a team tactically and passionately.
“I am delighted that he has got this chance at the highest level and I know it will be a very proud moment for him, his club, family and friends when he leads England out at Murrayfield on Saturday.”
Robshaw’s rival for the England captaincy is Tom Wood, who will miss the ties against Scotland and Italy because of injury but is expected to compete for the role once he returns.
Robshaw, who earned his cap in a defeat by Argentina in 2009, was quick to point out the importance of all the leaders in the England camp working together.
“It’s a huge honour and a very proud day – hopefully one that will live in my memory for a long time to come. Thanks to everyone who has helped me, especially Quins,” said the Harlequins flanker.
“There’s lots of other leaders in the group and they have been great since we met up. It’s not about myself because there are six or seven guys around me who all have a massive role to play, whether that’s bossing scrums, line-outs, attack, defence.
“Stuart Lancaster, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell have given us the game plan and it’s up to us to get it across to the other players to drive the standards and the squad forward in the right way.”