England have confirmed Chris Robshaw as their captain for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations in an appointment that will have caused no surprises.
Robshaw has been retained after leading England to a record 38-21 victory over New Zealand at Twickenham on December 1 and will fill the post for a second successive championship.
Northampton forwards Dylan Hartley and Tom Wood are viewed as potential captains, but coach Stuart Lancaster views 26-year-old Harlequins openside Robshaw as the outstanding candidate.
Lancaster, who announced Robshaw's reappointment at Monday night's squad meeting, believes the Lions captaincy candidate has developed into superb leader.
"Chris stepped into the role 12 months ago when we were building a new team and he has grown as a captain on and off the field," Lancaster said. "He showed those leadership qualities during the QBE Internationals and especially against the All Blacks when the whole squad got behind him.
"We have a number of leaders and I know they will all take this team forwards with Chris as we look to kick on from that result."
Robshaw made his Test debut against Argentina in 2009 and despite his lack of experience, was installed as skipper upon his next cap against Scotland at the start of last year's Six Nations.
He has continued in the post since, missing only the final Test against South Africa last June due to injury, and has been a key part of Lancaster's rebuilding program following the disastrous 2011 World Cup.
"Stuart told me this afternoon and I am really pleased to be asked again," Robshaw said. "There are other leaders in the squad that Stuart could have turned to so I am really honoured.
"The lads have been great over the last year and now our focus is on building on the New Zealand performance and getting a result against Scotland."