England captain Chris Robshaw to miss final Test against South Africa


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The Independent Online

England captain Chris Robshaw has been ruled out of the final Test against South Africa with a cracked right thumb.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster this afternoon confirmed the forward would take no further part in the series.

Hooker Dylan Hartley will take over as captain for Saturday's clash in Port Elizabeth.

Lancaster revealed that Robshaw had suffered a blow to the hand in the first Test in Durban before taking another knock in Saturday's second Test loss in Johannesburg.

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's inspirational leadership has been one of the key reasons for England's progress since Lancaster appointed him for this year's RBS 6 Nations.

The 26-year-old Harlequins flanker 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."

Robshaw will stay with the squad for the rest of the tour, which also includes a tour match against the Northern Barbarians in Potchefstroom tomorrow.

He said: "I know the lads can raise themselves for tomorrow and Saturday and I will be doing everything I can to support them."