The RFU have announced that Harlequins captain, Chris Robshaw, will lead England in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations 2012 opening match against Scotland, in the Calcutta Cup.
Despite only having one cap to his name – won in 2009 against Argentina – the player has impressed for England Saxons, and has proved his abilities as a skipper for Quins, the club which Robshaw singled out for praise when issuing a delighted statement with the announcement:
“It’s a huge honour and a very proud day – hopefully one that will live in my memory for a long time to come. Thanks to everyone who has helped me, especially Quins,”
“There’s lots of other leaders in the group and they have been great since we met up. It’s not about myself because there are six or seven guys around me who all have a massive role to play, whether that’s bossing scrums, line-outs, attack, defence…Stuart (Lancaster), Graham (Rowntree) and Andy (Farrell) have given us the game plan 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.”
England head coach Stuart 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 that he can lead a team tactically and passionately. I am delighted that he has got this chance at the highest level and I know it will be a very proud moment for him, his club, family and friends when he leads England out at Murrayfield on Saturday.”
A very new look England outfit will take to the field on Saturday 4th February after a slew of international retirements – including the resignation of coach Martin Johnson – following Rugby World Cup 2011. Despite a large number of changes, England, who are the holders of the RBS 6 Nations from 2011, are still a strong favourite to lift the trophy in 2012, which looks to be one of the most open renewals in recent years.