Dylan Hartley has been appointed England captain and will lead the team during the RBS 6 Nations which starts against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday 6 February.
Hartley, who has been capped 66 times for England, became the youngest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby captain in 2009 when he took over the role at Northampton Saints. He went on to lead the club until 2014 which coincided with the most successful period in the club’s history.
The 29 year-old hooker made his England debut in 2008 against Pacific Islanders and has captained England before, filling in for Chris Robshaw in the 14-all draw with South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 2012.
Dylan Hartley said: “It is a huge honour to captain England and a very proud day for me and my family.
“I’m really excited about the challenge ahead but in reality leading this squad of players will not fall just to me. It is essential for the success of this team that we quickly develop and establish a strong leadership group. There are a number of guys in this squad who will all have important leadership roles to play so we can take this team forward.
“There is a lot of young talent and potential which is great to see. Our focus over the next two weeks is to work hard and prepare for the Scotland game. Playing at Murrayfield will be a huge challenge and one we are all looking forward to.”
England Head Coach Eddie Jones said: “I am delighted to announce Dylan as England captain. I know it will be a very proud moment for him, his club, his family and friends when he leads England out at Murrayfield.
“As a former captain of Northampton Saints and someone who has a lot of experience playing for England I have every faith he will lead the team tactically and passionately. English rugby is indebted to Northampton to have produced such a fine player.
“Dylan is an honest, hardworking bloke and I admire his aggressive and uncompromising approach to playing rugby. Together with Steve and Paul, we think he has all the qualities needed to lead this group of players. We look forward to working very closely with him to build a successful England team.”