Nick Easter believes Harlequins teammate Chris Robshaw is the right man to lead England out of their current poor form – adamant the Red Rose captain needs more help than he is currently getting.
Saturday saw England fall to a 31-28 loss at the hands of South Africa, meaning the last time the Red Rose tasted victory against the Springboks was still way back in 2006.
However, of more pressing concern for head coach Stuart Lancaster and co is that England have now lost their last five games in a row, not the form anyone wanted with the World Cup less than a year away.
England have just ten games between now and their World Cup opener against Fiji to sort things out, but Easter insists Lancaster has the captain needed to do exactly that.
Robshaw was one of few England players to come out of the South Africa defeat with his head held high, and Easter is backing his fellow back rower to keep putting in the performances to help turn the Red Rose’s fortunes around.
“He’s got plenty of character and he has been in that situation before two years ago when he was under pressure and then they went and smashed the All Blacks at Twickenham,” Easter said.
“He’s had highs and lows in his career but that is why he is captain because he has very broad shoulders and he can take what comes at him and it won’t deter from his performance.
“He’s probably been England’s best player in the last two games and if some of the other guys had turned up then they probably might have been two from two.”
England will fancy their chances of ending a five-match losing streak against Samoa this weekend.
But Easter believes the opportunity to rediscover their attacking prowess will be the most important thing to watch out for.
“England have to rediscover their game, I think that is the most important thing,” he added.
“They have played the two top sides in the world and they’ve lost and the scoreboard has probably been kind to them in the last few weeks.
“You just need to give a sense of perspective. It is not the most experienced side, especially coming up against the Springboks and All Blacks, and they will mainly be disappointed with the way they played.
“The pack has gone brilliantly, the forward pack has been outstanding and probably they’ve been the better pack in the last two weeks quite comfortably.
“And there is no need to panic because that doesn’t do anybody any good. They’ve come reasonably close and left it a little too late in the last two games but they need to show more behind the scrum.
“You can be pragmatic and say that we want to win [against Samoa] and in that case the forward driving game and the lineout, they can go from set-piece to set-piece and do that with the scrum and strength they’ve got.
“But there is more to it when you’re playing against the sides that they have done in the last two weeks. They’ve got to rediscover the game that they were playing in the Six Nations.”
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