When news happens, text CHRON and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email & phone.
Lancaster to wait on captain call
England head coach Stuart Lancaster will delay making a decision over his captain for the autumn internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand until later this month.
Flankers Chris Robshaw and Tom Wood are competing for the role in what appears to be a straight shoot-out with the forthcoming two rounds of Heineken Cup action key to Lancaster's verdict.
England meet for a pre-autumn training camp in Leeds on October 21 and Lancaster sees no need to name his skipper before then.
"We have two big European weekends and I've consistently said you must select on form and fitness first. Injuries also play a part," he said.
"Equally there's no need to announce a captain early when it might influence what you're thinking selection-wise.
"If you name the captain early then you're pretty much ruling out everybody else playing in that position and I want to keep competition for places high."
Lancaster insists the focus on the identity of the captain is misplaced, with the senior players who assist him just as important.
"It's about having a really strong leadership group because it's an outdated model where you have one person who has sole responsibility for everyone," Lancaster added.
"All senior players have a role to play in the on-field decision-making. It will be an important announcement but the most important thing is to have that strength of leadership across the field."
England enter their autumn schedule, which opens against Australia at Twickenham on November 2, without injured centres Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi.
Billy Twelvetrees is in pole position to fill the number 12 jersey, while Jonathan Joseph, Joel Tomkins and Henry Trinder are competing to partner him in midfield.
"To lose Brad and Manu in the space of a week was disappointing because both of them are high-quality players," Lancaster said.
"They have both been key figures for us and were British and Irish Lions. It's meant we've had to look at other options, which is a good thing in my mind.
"Injuries have created opportunities for people in the past, and they've taken them."