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Lancaster: Leaders before captains

England's interim head coach Stuart Lancaster revealed on Wednesday that he plans to appoint his captain on a match-by-match basis.

Lancaster is assembling a senior leadership group during England's pre-RBS 6 Nations training week in Leeds, featuring the likes of Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw, Dylan Hartley, Toby Flood and Ben Youngs. And with Wood injured, Harlequins captain Robshaw is favourite to lead England out in their opening RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland on February 4.

Lancaster will announce his decision on Monday and said: "There is a spread of players we need to work with and from there a leader will emerge that will represent England as captain against Scotland."

He added: "Will we appoint for the Six Nations and through to South Africa and beyond? I don't think you can do that.

"I don't think selection or injury allows you to do that. It is not a bad thing to have two or three people who can captain the side.

"The leadership model I believe in is that the captain comes out of the leadership group but doesn't sit way above it as an iconic figure because if that person is unavailable then you have a void.

"At the moment we are developing leaders giving them an opportunity to own the culture.

"That gives us time to work with the players. There are players I haven't coached before and I need to learn about them.

"The most important thing is the leadership framework and I am sure in the process of time someone will stand out and will do it on a more consistent basis."

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