Mowen to lead Australia against England

Flanker Ben Mowen has been handed the Australia captaincy as the Qantas Wallabies renew rivalries with the northern hemisphere for the first time since facing the British & Irish Lions side. [more]

Mowen to lead Australia against England

Flanker Ben Mowen has been handed the Australia captaincy as the Qantas Wallabies renew rivalries with the northern hemisphere for the first time since facing the British & Irish Lions side.

Mowen, who started all three Tests against the Lions, skippered his side in their 14-13 win over Argentina and will lead Australia again at Twickenham against England.

Quade Cooper has been selected as vice-captain by head coach Ewen McKenzie, who has urged second row James Horwill, who led the Wallabies against the Lions, to focus on rediscovering his best form.

"There's no doubting James is a world-class leader but it's important he is putting his own personal performance first and playing to the level we know he is capable of on a weekly basis," said McKenzie.

"By his own lofty standards, James would admit he hasn't been at peak form. So, we've made the decision to this week remove the added pressures and responsibilities of being a captain so that he can focus entirely on bringing his 'A' game.

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"Decisions like these are never easy, but sometimes you need to make hard choices for the long-term benefit of the individual. A strong individual performance will be the best contribution he can make to this game.

"Without the captaincy, Ben now gets another opportunity to lead his country, while we're recognising Quade for the ongoing decision-making role he plays on the field and the positive involvements he continues to make in contributing to the culture of the team off the field.

"However, like we do every week, we'll re-assess all selection decisions for next week's game against Italy after we focus on taking care of business against England on Saturday night."

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