South Africa v England, Port Elizabeth, June 23
Dylan Hartley to captain England against Boks
June 18, 2012
Dylan Hartley will fill the captaincy void left by a thumb injury to Chris Robshaw © Getty Images
Hooker Dylan Hartley will captain England against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday after flanker Chris Robshaw suffered a thumb injury.
Robshaw picked up the initial injury in the first Test defeat to the Springboks but it settled down and he took a full part in training ahead of last weekend's loss in the second Test. However, Robshaw took another knock in their latest reverse on Saturday and imaging sent to England for specialist opinion has since revealed the injury.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "Chris as you would imagine is devastated. He has led us superbly in the last seven internationals and been one of our standout performers. But the medical advice is that he should not play and we have to trust that expert opinion. Dylan Hartley will captain the side. He has been a key part of our leadership group and I know he will step up to the task on Saturday."
Robshaw, a key performer in a brave but fruitless display from England on Saturday, said: "I'm absolutely gutted. I've been very proud and honoured to lead this group during the Six Nations and on this tour and it's a difficult way to end the season. I know the lads can raise themselves for tomorrow and Saturday and I will be doing everything I can to support them."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.