SIX CANDIDATES FOR THE ENGLAND SUCCESSION

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The Independent Online
BEN CLARKE

Bath

Age 27; Caps 27

After becoming England's pack leader and therefore auxiliary captain this season, Clarke has seen his star steadily waning as the need for Richards became increasingly apparent and would now be no more than outside bet, certainly while Richards remains.

LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO

Wasps

Age 23; Caps 5

Dallaglio's enforced elevation to his club captaincy in some ways paralleled Carling's with England and, having impressed with his Wasps responsibility as well as enjoying Rowell's favour, he could equally well be entrusted as his predecessor was.

PHIL DE GLANVILLE

Bath

Age 27; Caps 15

If De Glanville were an England regular, Bath's captain would be a certainty to succeed. But as Carling remains a player, he still stands in his deputy's way alongside Guscott and the perpetual reserve probably needs him to lose form as well as the captaincy.

JASON LEONARD

Harlequins

Age 26; Caps 48

Leonard has earned respect in his first season as captain of Harlequins and if Rowell fancied a bluff, no-nonsense type this might be his man. Playing for Quins and living in Twickenham would be no bar - but a broad east London accent might be.

DEAN RICHARDS

Leicester

Age 32; Caps 47

Richards, de facto captain at Murrayfield, would be the short-term answer if England had any short-term Test matches. But there aren't any until November and anyway the priority has to be the long term - i.e. World Cup '99 - which will not include him.

TIM RODBER

Northampton

Age 26; Caps 24

Until his dismissal in South Africa in 1994, Rodber was as good as certain as England's future captain - and may still be if he lives up to Rowell's hope that he will assume Richards' mantle. Being dropped twice in one season, though, does not recommend him.

ENGLAND'S RECORD

UNDER CARLING

Against P W D L

France 10 8 0 2

Scotland 9 7 1 1

Wales 8 6 0 2

Ireland 7 5 0 2

Argentina 4 3 0 1

Australia 4 2 0 2

S Africa 4 2 0 2

N Zealand 3 1 0 2

Canada 2 2 0 0

Fiji 2 2 0 0

W Samoa 2 2 0 0

Italy 1 1 0 0

Romania 1 1 0 0

US 1 1 0 0

Total 58 43 1 14

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