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England players applaud new skipper

England's players gave Chris Robshaw a round of applause when he was named captain for the start of the RBS 6 Nations.

Robshaw on Monday became one of the most inexperienced men ever to be charged with leading England when he was unveiled as captain for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash and the following week's trip to Italy.

But the fact that he has only ever been capped once by his country - and that was two and a half years ago - did not prevent him beating off competition from the more seasoned Dylan Hartley and Tom Croft, who were among the first to offer their congratulations. Robshaw said: "Everyone's been superb - it's quite surreal."

He added: "I got a round of applause in the meeting, which was very nice. Even before, Dylan came up and gave me a hug and said, 'Well done'. Crofty and all the other guys have been so supportive, just a pat on the back and all that. It's nice that they're kind of there with me."

They will also be breathing down his neck if he fails to perform at Murrayfield this weekend.

Robshaw added: "First and foremost, as a captain, you need to be playing well. You can't be captain if you're not in the team - I think it's as simple as that.

"I think you need to show the rest of your team-mates that you deserve actually to have a starting place before you can be issued with the honour of being captain. I'll have to play well and then we'll see what happens."

Robshaw admitted he had never even set foot inside Murrayfield as he prepared to lead his country out there in just his second ever Test match.

"At the moment, I'm quite relaxed about the whole process," he said. "But I'm sure come Thursday, Friday, I'll probably get a bit more nervous.

"It's one of those places I've never actually been to. As a rugby player, you want to play on the big stage. It is a daunting place and it is going to be very tough. But it's one everybody's looking forward to."


From Belfast Telegraph