Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Lancaster: Robshaw not assured captaincy

Chris Robshaw will have to fight for his England spot
Chris Robshaw will have to fight for his England spot

Stuart Lancaster offered Chris Robshaw no guarantees he will resume the England captaincy for the autumn internationals after handing the leadership reins to Tom Wood for the summer tour.

Matt Kvesic and Tom Johnson will compete for the seven jersey on tour but Lancaster made it clear that Will Fraser and Luke Wallace are very much on his radar, which means more competition for Robshaw.

"We've got some good young sevens around," Lancaster said.

Wood will captain a youthful England squad that includes 11 uncapped players for the trip to Uruguay and Argentina after Lancaster decided to rest five front-line stars, including Robshaw.

Chris Ashton, Danny Care, Toby Flood and Brad Barritt have also been given the chance to re-charge their batteries ahead of an intense two-year build-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

"With Chris being rested and Dylan (Hartley) going with the Lions, Tom was the natural choice for me," Lancaster said. "I am sure he will do a fantastic job as he has the respect of all the players and management and we are looking forward to other leaders developing in the absence of some senior players.

"He hasn't captained too many times in the past, but I've worked with him lots for the Saxons and obviously in the seniors now.

"People know he has an intensity and a will to win. His leadership style is very much, 'lead from the front and follow me'.

"We need that type of personality leading the side from the front in what is going to be a pretty hostile environment in Argentina."

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