Two new captains will be key, says Stuart Lancaster
Tuesday 05 June 2012
England head coach Stuart Lancaster expects the roles of the two new captains to be crucial in the upcoming series against South Africa.
Chris Robshaw, who has made just six Test appearances, leads England overseas for the first time after impressing in this year's RBS 6 Nations.
The Springboks also have a new skipper following the retirement of John Smit but have turned to someone at the opposite end of the experience scale in 72-times capped flanker Jean de Villiers.
Lancaster said: "Jean de Villiers strikes me as a key player for South Africa.
"The primary thing for a captain is to earn your place in the side and there is no doubt he has done that, and he has done it well.
"He is clearly experienced, respected and has leadership qualities. It is a good appointment. I'm sure he will be very motivated to get things right.
"We have got a good captain in Chris Robshaw and I know the importance of good leadership in the team."
The series begins at Durban's Kings Park on Saturday before further Tests in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
England have won just three Tests in South Africa, most recently in 2000, and have lost their past seven clashes against the Springboks.
Having had longer preparation time than the opponents - who were still involved in domestic action last weekend - Lancaster knows the importance of hitting the ground running this weekend.
Lancaster said: "In a three-game series there is going to be a huge amount on the first Test.
"We have always been of the mindset you take one game at a time.
"We will deal with the first Test, and that won't lessen the impact of the second or third Test.
"We will review our performance and move on from there.
"It is all about performance and getting the win in the first Test, but equally we know South Africa is a formidable challenge.
"There are very few northern hemisphere sides who have ever come here and won. We recognise the challenge."
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Compare the Barcelona and Real Madrid players in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Tim Sherwood: The mavericks have always needed special handling – but Balotelli is not delivering his side of the bargain for Liverpool
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Modesty of Louis van Gaal makes nice contrast with his old pupil Jose Mourinho
Real Madrid analysis: Toni Kroos control may give extra edge that enables Real Madrid to retain Champions League crown
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts