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Permanent captain improves England’s Six Nations chances

| 16.02.2012

After initially deciding he would rotate captains throughout the tournament, England coach Stuart Lancaster has now announced that Chris Robshaw will skipper the side for the remainder of the Six Nations, which England are priced at 9/2 to win.

Robshaw has performed well in his first two matches leading the team, claiming the Calcutta Cup with victory over Scotland and turning in a fine display during England’s comeback win away to Italy.

While Northampton back-rower Tom Wood was expected to take over the armband, further injury complications were unforeseen, and now Robshaw will be eager to prove Lancaster has made the correct decision instilling faith in him, by leading 5/4 England to victory over 4/6 Wales at Twickenham in the first match since his more permanent appointment.

Despite making just one international appearance prior to the Six Nations, Robshaw has impressed his coach immensely, and this was evident as Lancaster explained his decision to BBC Sport.

“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.”

It has been a rapid rise to prominence for the 25-year-old Harlequins flanker of late, and while he could be forgiven for being overwhelmed at the circumstances, Robshaw is keen to focus on the task at hand.

“I’m very honoured. It’s great having the backing of the players and the coaching team around me. Now it starts with going on to Wales and trying to improve our performance and get a win,” he told BBC Sport.

A settled side with a known leader can only benefit England, and Robshaw’s determination to succeed in his role seems to make the 9/2 for a tournament win in the Six Nations odds look a good price for patriotic punters.



John Klee