Ranking England's 10 Greatest Captains

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Ranking England's 10 Greatest Captains
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

England captains down the years have ranged from hate figures for whole nations—the role played by Will Carling in the eyes of Scottish fans in the 1990s—to serving members of the armed forces, tabloid targets and national heroes.

With so many names to assess and only 10 to choose for this list, establishing some set of criteria allows us to pick our stand-out candidates.

Total games played as skipper as well as games won as captain must come into play, as must silverware, Grand Slams and World Cup performances.

The World Cup, ultimately, carries most weight, as do performances in the modern era given the might of the Southern Hemisphere and the intensity of the sport now compared to bygone days.

Each of the men on this list lifted trophies in the name of English rugby and left their mark on the Red Rose in one way or another.

A big thank you to ESPN Scrum.com and RFU.com for career stats and info on some of the players I have reached further back in time to cover.

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