Harlequins skipper Chris Robshaw has had his England captaincy endorsed by back row rival Tom Croft.
Robshaw had just one cap to his name in the Red Rose jersey prior to being handed the captaincy by interim head coach Stuart Lancaster for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland.
And, while all the talk before the Championship was on Tom Wood leading England until injury struck, Robshaw is now the centre of attention after wins against Scotland as well as Italy.
The Quins flanker, who leads out England against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday, has the captaincy for the rest of the Six Nations.
But it is his actions away from the limelight that have also been significant in the eyes of British and Irish Lions star Croft.
“Chris has slipped into the role very well, as if he has been doing it for years now, and that is not easy in itself,” said Leicester Tigers star Croft.
“It is easy to forget that not only has he not been England captain before, but he hasn’t played a lot of international rugby either.
“But the way he has gone about the job you would never have guessed it and he fully deserved the honour permanently.
“In terms of the leadership role on the pitch, it is very similar to when you are playing for your club or country on the pitch.
“But it is away from that and away from what everyone sees that has really impressed me.
“He has coped with the media pressure as well as what happens on the pitch.
“There is a lot of it and the way he has spoken up in meetings and training sessions, has been very good.”
Joe Marler, Chris Brooker – called up to the squad as injury cover for Lee Mears – and Jordan Turner-Hall are available for Harlequins’ trip to Gloucester tomorrow evening, while full-back Mike Brown has been named on the bench for tomorrow’s clash with Wales.
Tom Croft is an ambassador for SSE. To see video challenges of him going head-to-head against Wales’ second row star Ryan Jones, go to sserugby.com.