Cape Town – Eddie Jones has appointed Dylan Hartley to captain England at this year’s Six Nations tournament.
The England Rugby Football Union website has confirmed that he replaces Chris Robshaw who captained the side during their disastrous World Cup campaign in which they became the first host nation not to reach the knock-out stages of the tournament.
His tenure begins when England face Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6.
Hartley, who has played 66 times for England at hooker, was thrilled with his appointment.
“It is a huge honour to captain England and a very proud day for me and my family," said Hartley.
“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.”
Jones had no hesitation in selecting Hartley to captain England, believing he had all the qualities needed for the position.
“Dylan is an honest, hardworking bloke and I admire his aggressive and uncompromising approach to playing rugby.
"Together with Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard, 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.”