Chris Robshaw is not guaranteed the captains armband for England’s autumn international, head coach Stuart Lancaster has revealed.
The Harlequins flanker received widespread praise for the manner in which in led England on their summer tour to South Africa however despite admitting Robshaw had done a “fantastic job” Lancaster revealed to BBC Sport that he had decided on a captain yet.
Robshaw led England to four wins and second place in the 2012 6 Nations and to two defeats to South Africa however a broken thumb ruled him out of the 14-14 draw in the final test with Dylan Hartley taking over the armband.
The former Leeds head coach was impressed by the impact of Hartley and admitted that both players were strong contenders for the role.
“If you look at the performance of the third Test, while Chris was missed on the field, Dylan did a fantastic job captaining the side,” said Lancaster.
“We got a performance out of the team in what was a challenging situation to make sure we finished the tour strongly, on the back of a long hard season for English rugby. That was credit to Dylan and also the rest of the players who played in that team.”
Lancaster added: “I wouldn’t say the captaincy is overplayed – being England captain is a big job – but a strong leadership group is equally important. If you’ve got a fantastic captain but you haven’t got someone who can run the game from 10 or run a line-out, you can forget it.”
England are set to play Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia in a four week spell beginning on the 10th November.