Chris Robshaw will remain as England captain for the remainder of the 6 Nations, interim head coach Stuart Lancaster has confirmed.
Those studying the latest form note how Robshaw has lead England to two victories in as many games in this year’s tournament, with England’s narrow win in Rome against Italy coming a week after a stoic defensive effort secured the Red Rose a first win at Murrayfield against Scotland for the first time since 2004.
The Harlequins number eight had made just one previous appearance for his country before being handed the skippers armband following former captain Lewis Moody’s retirement from the game after England’s ill-fated World Cup campaign last year.
England currently sit atop the 6 Nations table, equal on points with Wales who have also won their first two games, while France won their first game against Italy but were forced to rearrange their game with Ireland last weekend, which was postponed because of freezing weather conditions.
Lancaster praised the Robshaw’s contribution in the first two games, adding that he felt the 25-year-old’s performances thus far rendered his inexperience at International level obsolete.
“Certainly for the next three games we think it’s the right decision,” he said. “It was an easy choice. He’s respected, he leads by example and says the right thing at the right time.”
We were confident in his ability, even though he had one cap, to captain at international level.”
“He did that well and backed it up with great performances, by topping the tackle and carry counts, in the first two games,” he added.
Robshaw, who was initially installed as captain on a game-by-game basis, revealed that he had turned to former England captain Will Carling for advice after it was confirmed he would lead his country for the rest of the tournament.
Carling led England to three Grand Slam triumphs during his time as England skipper, while he also led them into the 1991 World Cup final having been appointed his country’s ten youngest captain at just 22.
Robshaw said he felt there were comparisons between himself and Carling, and admitted he would be going to him ahead of England’s showdown with Wales at the weekend.
“Will Carling has been giving me tips because he was in a similar boat, probably a harder boat,” Robshaw said.
“Before the Scotland game he spoke about the need to appreciate how much they dislike us – not on a personal perspective – but that we needed to be ready for the antics before the game and after the game.
“Last week he spoke to me about it being tough going to Italy, making sure we were ready and backing up the win, which is always the hardest. I will speak to him before the Wales game and he will probably say a similar thing (to what he said before we played Scotland).”
England go into their third game of the tournament against Wales with Toby Flood and Manu Tuilagi available for action having overcome long-term injuries, while Courtney Lawes is also available for international duty once more.