England: A New Coach, A New Captain

Sean KellyAnalyst IAugust 7, 2008

As Martin Johnson is waving his magic behind closed doors, and structuring his backroom staff there is still a important question left to be answered.

Who will Captain Johnson's men?

A man as established as Martin Johnson, knows what it takes to captain your country, and more importantly, knows what it takes to captain a world cup winning side.

However, is there someone suitable for this job dwelling in England at the moment?

Is there anyone with the qualities Johnson possessed in his reign as England's supreme captain?

Jonny Wilkinson has recently declared his wishes and hopes to captain his country.

Obviously, a man such as "Wilko" who strives to be the best he can in everything he does, would clearly wish to have this responsibility.

Sadly for him, I hope he doesn't get it.

Clive Woodward made the dire mistake of building a Lions side around his previous glory.

How did that turn out?

Possibly a rather harsh and pessimistic statement to relate Wilkinson's possible selection as England captain to a embarrassing tour to New Zealand.

Yet, the point I am trying to make is, I really hope Johnson doesn't select in the same way Woodward did and go back to ways that did work rather than will work.

So, who other than possible candidates?

Apparently Phil Vickery, Simon Shaw, Tom Rees and James Haskell.

Phil Vickery is passed it now and is not up to the modern game. Matt Stevens and Andrew Sheridan for now are England's best Props.

Simon Shaw is still a very good club player, but I would prefer not to see him in an England shirt anymore.

I believe Steve Borthwick, Nick Kennedy and George Skivington are England's current choices are Lock.

Tom Rees and James Haskell are, in my opinion, England’s future as possible captaincy candidates and as England’s back row along with Luke Narraway.

I believe it would rely on whether one of them are named Wasps' captain.

I have always believed if you captain your country, you should definitely captain your club.

In the recent “tour of hell” to New Zealand, James Haskell and Tom Rees were two of the only players to come back with their reputation somewhat enhanced.

Tom Rees really did step up his game to challenge McCaw, as Haskell carried the ball tremendously and helped in the loose a lot.

If you were to ask me who I believed Martin Johnson will pick as his captain, it is Steve Borthwick.

I think Johnson sees a lot of himself in Borthwick; a noble man, a true leader; dominant in the “Line Out,” generally a dominant figure and maybe also being a second rower help.

He finally tasted glory with Bath before moving onto his new Challenge with Saracens, where he has just be named co-captain alongside Andy Farrell.

I wouldn't really be disappointed if Borthwick were to be named captain either, after all, you need an old experienced head to build a young squad around.

I do hope that a young squad will be built.

Who would you pick as your England captain?