Kevin Sinfield has been named England rugby league captain, replacing his Leeds Rhinos team-mate Jamie Peacock in the role.
Sinfield's appointment was announced to the squad during their first night on African soil as they start a 10-day high-altitude training camp in Potchefstroom ahead of this year's Autumn International Series against France and Wales.
Sinfield, who skippered Leeds Rhinos to their sixth Super League crown last season when they defeated Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford, said: "I am immensely honoured to captain England Rugby League.
"Representing your country is always special, but to captain England will be the proudest moment of my career to date."
Sinfield will lead England for the first time in the Autumn International Series opener against Wales in Wrexham on October 27.
A clash with France follows a week later, on November 3 at Hull KR's Craven Park ground, before the series final in Salford on November 11.
England coach Steve McNamara said: "Kevin is an outstanding leader and was my number one choice when selecting a successor to Jamie Peacock.
"The standards he sets both on and off the field are exemplary. He commands the ultimate respect from his fellow professionals and will take this group of players forward in what promises to be a demanding yet rewarding year for England Rugby League."
The vacancy arose after Peacock retired from international duty in June.
Sinfield, 32, added: "There could have been a number of candidates for the job, when you look at the number of leaders we have in the squad, but (England coach) Steve McNamara has asked me take up the role and I will do it to the best of my ability.
"When you look at the talent we have in the squad, we are in great shape. We have a big 12 months ahead with the Rugby League World Cup at the end of it and we have to give ourselves every chance of creating history.
"Steve McNamara is leaving nothing to chance and our preparation continues to be planned in fine detail and I will relish being part of that process."