Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw revealed the decision to appoint him as England skipper for the Six Nations was not cut and dried.
Robshaw, who led England to second place in last season’s Championship, will lead the team against Scotland in the opener at Twickenham stadium on February 2.
The 26-year-old, who captained his country to a historic win over New Zealand during the autumn internationals, has led Quins to the top of the Premiership table and the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup this term.
But head coach Stuart Lancaster, who has brought Quins winger Ugo Monye into the squad this week as injury cover, only confirmed him in the post last night.
"Stuart told me this afternoon and I am really pleased to be asked again," said Robshaw.
"There are other leaders in the squad that Stuart could have turned to, so I am really honoured.
"The lads have been great over the last year and now our focus is on building on the New Zealand performance and getting a result against Scotland.”
Lancaster added: “Chris stepped into the role 12 months ago, when we were building a new team, and he has grown as a leader on and off the field.
"He showed those leadership qualities during the QBE Internationals, and especially against the All Blacks when the whole squad got behind him.
"We have a number of leaders and I know they will all take this team forwards with Chris as we look to kick on from that result.”