Leeds flanker Jacob Rowan has vowed to do England Under-20 head coach Mark Mapletoft proud after being handed the captaincy for the RBS 6 Nations.
The 20-year-old is currently on loan at Nottingham in the Championship and follows in the footsteps of Leeds team-mate Calum Clark who took charge of the under-20s last season.
Rowan will wear the captain’s armband at the IRB Junior World Championships in Argentina in June as well as next month’s Six Nations and is adamant he won’t let Mapletoft down.
“I’m really excited and very pleased that Mark and assistant coach Rob Hunter asked me to do it and I’m looking forward to working with the bunch of lads we’ve got this season,” said Rowan.
“I’ve had experience with the under-20s and under-18s and think I can lead them and guide them to a good Six Nations and a good Junior World Championship.
“We want to play an expansive and ambitious game and that’s been set out from day one but you’ve still got a keep a balance to it.
“Everyone’s really excited about the players we’ve got, there’s a lot of pace in the side across the board and we’ve got strength in depth which is very important.”
England kick off their Six Nations campaign against Wales on February 5 and Mapletoft admitted there was no worthier candidate to be captain than Rowan.
“It’s a big honour to captain your country at any level and I think he’ll relish the opportunity,” said Mapletoft.
“He’s professional and first and foremost he’s a good player worthy of his place in the starting line-up.
“He’s demonstrated to me and the management over the course of the season involved with the under-20s what a great bloke he is. He’ll get respect from the others but he’ll demand high standards.”