Former England captain Lewis Moody is backing Chris Robshaw to impress as his successor in Saturday’s 6 Nations clash with Scotland.
Moody led England at the start of last year’s tournament and through the recent World Cup before calling time on his international career following the quarter-final exit to France in October.
Interim head coach Stuart Lancaster took his time in choosing Moody’s replacement but has now opted to hand the armband to Robshaw for the Calcutta Cup clash in Edinburgh and the following week’s trip to Rome.
And 2005 Lion Moody, who was the last man to wear the England No7 shirt that Robshaw will don on Saturday, believes the 25-year-old will do his country proud.
“The most important aspect is that Chris leads by example just by playing hard and well,” Moody told the Telegraph Sport.
“People will follow that. That is one of the most important traits of a captain.
“The fact that Chris is a good honest lad, who plays hard and works hard for the guys on his team, speaks volumes for what he’ll be about as a leader.
“It’s not about the words. It’s about the actions.”
Robshaw has played just the once for England and he leads a starting XV featuring three debutants and a matchday 22 containing a total of eight uncapped players.
And while it’s clear that Lancaster has picked on form but also with one eye on the 2015 World Cup, Moody is expecting the side’s lack of experience to have both a positive and negative bearing on proceedings at Murrayfield.
“It’s a difficult one, because there are a lot of guys in the squad who haven’t had much experience,” added Moody.
“Lancaster has gone for youth – he wants to build a squad for the 2015 World Cup – and while I know he’s working on an interim basis, his vision is for the future. He is bringing young guys in and giving them the chance. It’s sink or swim.
“It will be a cauldron in Scotland. The last game we played there, in 2010, we drew. To play Scotland at Murrayfield is one of the toughest games. It’s an incredibly difficult place to play, especially for these young guys.
“Scotland will go in as favourites for this game, purely because of the change that has gone on with the England coaching set-up and the fresh faces introduced.
“But that’s not such a bad thing: it means you have a group of guys with a young, determined spirit, enthusiasm and enjoyment of the game. It comes down to whether the coaches can harness that to produce the performance they want.
“I think people are realistic about this England set-up and the fact that it is a new era. It is about throwing in different players and seeing what they’re capable of.
"The results are not going to happen immediately. Realistically, you have to be prepared for a young, inexperienced side finding it very difficult in the first season.”