England captain Martin Corry is ready to fight for his place during this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Corry admitted the surprise challenge to his place was 'keeping him on his toes'.
The Leicester Tigers back-row man has an unexpected challenger for the number eight jersey in Lawrence Dallaglio, who is now back on the international scene some 17 months after retiring from Test rugby.
Corry, whose England leadership reign has produced five wins from six starts, was replaced by Dallaglio after 65 minutes of last Saturday's comprehensive RBS 6 Nations victory over Wales.
Head coach Andy Robinson's decision has been questioned by Corry's Leicester and former England colleague Graham Rowntree, who also hit out at the media bandwagon accompanying Dallaglio's England return.
Corry, though, is content to take everything in his stride as England prepare for Saturday's appointment with Italy in Rome.
"I am completely comfortable with what is happening within the England camp. I have no issues,'' said Corry.
"We are in a position, in my position and throughout the whole side, we are developing a squad where there is a lot of competition on the starting XV, which is exactly how it should be.
"Personally, I feel that is how to bring the best out of me, to put me under pressure and make me fight for my position.
"It is what everyone needs, so I have no issue about it - it is keeping me on my toes.
"Everyone is desperate to play for England, but what we've got with Lawrence is someone who is not only a great player, but he has also achieved a huge amount in the game,'' added Corry.
"His profile is going to warrant interest and speculation, but speculation is speculation and we have got to treat it as that. What is written should have little bearing on what actually happens.''
Italy were perhaps harshly dealt with during their opening RBS 6 Nations clash against Ireland in Dublin last Saturday, being on the receiving end of some debatable decisions, and Corry added: "They are a quality side on the back of a defeat.
"We know how good this Italian side is. We have studied the tape of last weekend's game very closely, and if we were under any illusions before the game, we are certainly not now.
"The first weekend of the tournament showed that this is a really tight Six Nations.
"Any side can beat any side on the day, that was shown on the first weekend, and it will be shown throughout the tournament.''
Scotland won three matches in this year's Championship
24 March 2017, 3:33pm
Scotland secured three RBS 6 Nations victories for the first time since 2006 as they beat Ireland, Wales and Italy at BT Murrayfield. Here we take a look at what lies ahead for the Scots in the next 12 months.
Peter Malone has been Nigel Carolan's assistant since 2015
24 March 2017, 11:56am
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