Harlequins’ captain Chris Robshaw has been named as England’s skipper for the forthcoming Six Nations opener against Scotland despite only having made one appearance for his nation’s team to date.
Robshaw’s lone cap came over two and a half years ago, but is tipped to play an integral role in the future of the England side following some impressive form for Harlequins so far this season.
Robshaw fought off competition from Dylan Hartley, Tom Croft and Tom Wood for the role, but when Wood picked up a toe injury the Quins man emerged as the favourite to take the role.
Whilst this is not a permanent appointment to the role it will provide Robshaw a chance to show his leadership credentials on the international stage and put his case forward for the role on a permanent basis. He will initially lead England in their first two games of the campaign, against Scotland and Italy before head coach, Lancaster makes a further decision to the role for the remainder of the tournament.
Robshaw has described his appointment as “a huge honour and a very proud day”. He has praised the large number of leaders within the England squad and is looking forward to `working alongside them to get the best out of this new look England side.
Lancaster is confident he has made the right decision, and punters seem to agree - the best Six Nations betting odds show that England remain favourites despite Robshaw’s lack of experience at the top level. Lancaster has been impressed by the way he has demonstrated with Harlequins and with the England Saxons how well he can “lead a team tactically and passionately.”
He also did not fail to agree with Robshaw on the importance of the “strong leadership group” within the England camp. The England squad is full of players who had the potential to be captains and it will no doubt be expected that they will all be there to support the new England captain in his new role.