Chris Robshaw appointed England captain for first two Six Nations games

RBS Six Nations: Scotland v England

  • Venue: Murrayfield
  • Date: 4 February
  • Kick-off: 1700 GMT

Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live and online

Flanker Chris Robshaw has been named captain for England's first two Six Nations games.

The 25-year-old Harlequins captain, who has one cap, succeeds Lewis Moody, who quit international rugby following England's poor World Cup campaign.

"It's a huge honour and a very proud day," said Robshaw.

"It's not about myself because there are six or seven guys around me who all have a massive role to play - there's lots of other leaders in the group."

Analysis

Chris Robshaw is captain of a Quins side that is top of the Premiership, has a good work ethic and is playing with skill and ambition. Interim boss Stuart Lancaster believes some of the philosophy of that side - mostly the ambition - can be transferred to England. Robshaw is a big part of driving that and Lancaster believes the Quins flanker can do the same for England. Robshaw's the captain but Lancaster has mentioned the likes of Tom Croft, Dylan Hartley, Ben Foden - these guys are going to be helping Robshaw in setting the tone for the squad

Saturday's match, against Scotland at Murrayfield, will be the first game in charge for the interim coaching team of boss Stuart Lancaster and assistants Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell.

Robshaw, who will also be skipper against Italy, added: "Stuart, Graham and Andy have given us the gameplan and it's up to us to get it across to the other players to drive the standards and the squad forward in the right way."

Robshaw 'excited' by England captaincy

Lancaster said: "We have a strong leadership group and I have been very impressed with the way they have all stepped up so far.

"Chris is a key member of that group and has shown with Harlequins and when I have worked with him in the Saxons [England's second string] that he can lead a team tactically and passionately."

He added: "Chris will be captain for the first two games and then we will review where we are as a group."

Robshaw, a 6ft 2in flanker who can play in all three back-row positions, won his only cap against Argentina in 2009.

CHRIS ROBSHAW FACTFILE

  • Position: Flanker
  • Caps: One
  • Club: Harlequins
  • Age: 25
  • Height: 6ft 2in (1.88m)
  • Weight: 17st 8lb (112kg)

He will not be England's least experienced captain - Fred Stokes, Fred Alderson, Joe Mycock and Nigel Melville were all uncapped when appointed.

"In terms of our group as a whole, people are saying we lack experience," said Lancaster.

"But the counter argument to that is the players have lots of experience in big Premiership and European games.

"And Chris has captained his side in a lot of big games."

Analysis

Robshaw didn't even make England's 30-man squad for last autumn's World Cup. With only one full cap to his name he is also England's least experienced captain since uncapped Nigel Melville got the nod in 1984. But Robshaw has won plaudits for his leadership of Harlequins, and with interim coach Stuart Lancaster picking a captain in his own short-term image this is both a practical response and another clear signal that the old, much-criticised regime has gone for good

Harlequins' director of rugby, Conor O'Shea, said: "We're delighted for Chris, his appointment is a tribute to him, the squad and the club. To be given the honour of captaining your country is among the great experiences in sport.

Robshaw will have back-up - Lancaster

"Chris has come right the way through the Harlequins' Academy and is a credit to all that have nurtured his career. He is an inspirational player who brings his individual style to the way he leads and plays.

"Provided he is given the right support, he will do well in what is an incredibly challenging role. I am sure he will do a great job."

Tom Wood, Robshaw's rival both as potential captain and for a place in the back row, misses the first two Six Nations matches because of injury, with Lancaster set to announce his team for the Murrayfield match on Thursday.

Robshaw led Harlequins to European Challenge Cup glory last year and has steered the Londoners to the top of the Premiership this season.

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans has likened Robshaw's leadership to that of New Zealand's World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw .

The former All Blacks international told BBC London 94.9: "He's not one of those guys that will mouth off but he leads by example round the field.

"He's one of those guys that you need in the pack when things are going tough. He's always the guy that puts his hand up."