Chris Robshaw has been confirmed as the England captain for the QBE Autumn Internationals by Stuart Lancaster after taking his time to consider the different captaincy options.
Lancaster had said previously that Robshaw was not assured of the captaincy, though it was always understood that he was more than likely to retain the position.
The decision was made easier though with the injury to Dylan Hartley this week, which looks like keeping him out for the whole of the International period, as Hartley was the only other major contender following his spell in charge in South Africa this summer in Robshawâ€™s absence.
Courtney Lawes, also injured in defeat to Saracens, looks set to be out for two weeks, though Joe Marlerâ€™s hamstring injury does not appear too serious, with Lancaster saying:
“We’re confident in Joe. We were being careful with him this week. All the medical info I’m getting is he’ll be good to go on Monday.”
Lancaster went on to praise Robshaw and explain why he delayed renaming him as captain:
“We have a strong leadership group in this squad and I know that Chris will be well supported by them in the weeks ahead.â€
“It was important to wait until after last weekend’s Premiership matches to check on everyone’s form and fitness and not interrupt the players’ preparations.Â I have had the chance now to have a one-on-one catch-up with each player and we are really pleased to announce Chris as captain.”
Robshaw himself suffered an injury scare as Harlequins controversially edged past London Irish at the weekend, but the bruising to his eye is expected to come down and he hope to be in contact training tomorrow.
England had brought David Paice, George Robson and Matt Mullan in for their injured trio, though Mullan and Robson are set to return to their clubs after training tomorrow, while nine others return to their clubs tonight: Anthony, Allen, Mike Brown, Phil Dowson, Ben Morgan, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Courtney Lawes, Jordan Turner-Hall and Ben Youngs.
England take on Fiji in their first match on the 10th November before facing Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.