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Lancaster hails Robshaw leadership
Chris Robshaw's season may have ended one game prematurely but England head coach Stuart Lancaster believes his captain has already exceeded expectations.
Harlequins forward Robshaw will miss the final Test against South Africa after breaking his thumb in the defeat by the Springboks in Johannesburg last weekend. It is a bitter blow for the team and the 26-year-old flanker, who has proved an inspired choice as skipper since being appointed by Lancaster for this year's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Lancaster said: "Where Chris has exceeded everyone's expectations is in his ability to manage the responsibility of being England captain, captaining his club side to the Premiership final and still playing tremendously well at the same time. That is what makes his season so special."
He continued: "We were a completely new team that had 15 new players in and had just come out of a World Cup where there was a lot of upset about things that hadn't gone well. He has been a massive part in galvanising the team to become the squad it is now.
"He does that but, more importantly, he leads by example on the field and in training. He provides a great role model for young players coming into the team."
Hooker Dylan Hartley will take over as captain as England look to salvage some pride from the three-Test series after defeats in Durban and Johannesburg.
The 26-year-old has not produced his best form on the tour and recently served an eight-week ban for biting but Lancaster expects the Northampton front rower to rise to the challenge.
Lancaster said: "In the changing room before the game you hear lots of voices.
"You have the captain's voice but I can guarantee you Dylan's voice is close behind, encouraging, shouting, motivating.
"I think it will add five per cent on Dylan Hartley this weekend, definitely."