England have named Chris Robshaw as captain for their autumn internationals
Last Updated: 31/10/12 4:46pm
Chris Robshaw has been confirmed as England captain for their upcoming autumn internationals.
The 26-year-old was on Tuesday named as skipper for England's internationals against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
The Harlequins flanker, who led England during last season's Six Nations and for the first two Tests of their summer tour to South Africa, was selected for the role ahead of Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley.
Hartley led England in their final Test in South Africa in Robshaw's absence, but has been ruled out for the opening clash with Fiji a week on Saturday due to a knee injury.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "Chris has been outstanding on and off the field and we are delighted that he will captain the team for what will be an immense challenge in the QBE internationals.
"We have a strong leadership group in this squad and I know that Chris will be well supported by them in the weeks ahead.
"It's a real honour to be asked again. I enjoyed being captain in the Six Nations and in South Africa and this is a great group of players who really want to be successful."
"It was important to wait until after last weekend's Aviva Premiership matches to check on everyone's form and fitness and not interrupt the players' preparations.
"I have had the chance now to have a one-to-one catch-up with each player and we are really pleased to announce Chris as captain."
Robshaw, who is expected to recover from an eye injury he suffered against London Irish at the weekend, was always favourite to regain the role having won plaudits for his performances and leadership this year.
"It's a real honour to be asked again. I enjoyed being captain in the Six Nations and in South Africa and this is a great group of players who really want to be successful," Robshaw said.
"We are lucky to have some good leaders in the squad who I know I can work well with and count on their support.
"We have a huge opportunity to put a marker down over the next few weeks and just from training this morning you can see how keen the boys are to play."
Hartley and Lawes will continue treatment with Northampton while nine other squad members have been available for Premiership duty this weekend.
Anthony Allen, Mike Brown, Phil Dowson, Ben Morgan, James Haskell, Jordan Turner-Hall and Ben Youngs were all released by England tonight.
Worcester prop Matt Mullan and Harlequins lock George Robson, who were initially called up as injury cover for Joe Marler and Lawes, will train with England tomorrow before returning to their clubs.
Lancaster insisted those who are in Premiership action this weekend are still in consideration for the Fiji game on November 10.
"Some return for further treatment from their club and others to get some game time to put a marker down for selection for when we meet again on Sunday after the weekend's games," Lancaster said.
"We will not finalise selection for the Fiji game until after training next Tuesday and so for those going back and playing this is a real opportunity to stake a claim with a really big performance."
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