WORLD Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio is backing Tom Wood to fill the void left by Chris Robshaw’s absence when the Northampton Saint leads England in Argentina this summer.
Saints back row Wood has been named as captain by head coach Stuart Lancaster, with Harlequins flanker Robshaw rested having missed out on British & Irish Lions selection.
Robshaw captained England throughout the Six Nations, but Wood will step into the role as one of the few senior figures in a young 32-man squad named by Lancaster for the June Tests.
Dallaglio, a former England captain himself who was led by Martin Johnson to World Cup glory in 2003, was replaced as skipper by Phil Vickery for the 2002 tour of Argentina after picking up an injury while playing for London Wasps.
And speaking from that experience, he believes Wood has a chance to make a name for himself as captain this summer.
“Chris Robshaw has got an enormous amount to be proud of with what he has done this season, and could still do as he may well yet go on the Lions tour – who knows what might happen,” said Dallaglio.
“Tom Wood has had a stop-start campaign and could easily have been England captain (before Robshaw).
“The captaincy is great for Tom but I think he will just want to get back playing in an England shirt and get some consistency in terms of the opportunities he gets. It will be a big responsibility.
“I missed out on an England tour to Argentina in 2002 when I broke my thumb against Bath in the last game of the season and Phil Vickery went on to captain England for that tour and led England to a victory.
“One man’s withdrawal is another man’s opportunity so I am sure Tom will do England proud.”
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