Corry still in Vickery’s plans

England's new rugby captain Phil Vickery has revealed that deposed skipper Martin Corry was the first player to congratulate him on his appointment. [more]

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England’s new rugby captain Phil Vickery has revealed that deposed skipper Martin Corry was the first player to congratulate him on his appointment.

The Wasps prop said: "The first person to call me was ‘Cozza’ who sent me a text message saying, ‘good luck, wish you well’."

Vickery, an England World Cup winner in 2003, is hoping that Leicester Tigers back-row man Corry will be part of England’s bid to retain the World Cup in France this summer.

The new skipper continued: "He’s a great bloke and a good player – and I hope he’s with me."

Vickery called on England’s much-changed RBS Six Nations squad, announced yesterday, to "step up the effort to put the bad run of results behind us."

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The 30-year-old explained: "We all need to work harder but, as I said after the autumn games, there aren’t any magic answers to anything.

"It’s all down to hard work and I hope we can all roll our sleeves up and show people we are capable of competing."

Vickery, who returned from career-threatening back surgery to score the winning try as England beat South Africa 23-21 for their only victory in the four Twickenham autumn internationals, said: "I’ve watched England play and been frustrated as a supporter.

"There was a huge sense of disappointment and a lot of frustration as well and there is no point trying to take any positives from it because there aren’t that many. We just have to be thankful we’ve been given another opportunity.

"I want people to go out and show they are 110% committed to the cause and buy into what the coaches want us to do.

"There is the Six Nations coming up and we will find out a lot about both the individuals and the group," he said.

Vickery described the new look England set-up which has seen the elevation of Brian Ashton to head coach and his own appointment as captain as "a great opportunity for myself, the coaches, the players and supporters to start something special".

But he admitted England are nowhere near the standard they were at in January 2003, before they went on to win the World Cup in Australia.

But he continued: "Then we had a settled team who had played a lot of games together, it virtually picked itself."

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