Chris Robshaw has endorsed Tom Wood's credentials as England captain after being provisionally overlooked for the role for the autumn internationals.
Coach Stuart Lancaster has consistently stated the captaincy will be dictated by fitness and form but Robshaw has led the team in the last two Six Nations campaigns as well as the summer tour to South Africa and the autumn fixtures last year.
But after being rested for the tour to Argentina - having been omitted from the British and Irish Lions squad - Wood is in possession of the captaincy after impressively leading England to successive wins in Buenos Aries, and with no primary candidate accompanying the naming of the 33-man elite squad in August questions are being asked over Robshaw's future.
"Myself and Stuart we've worked together in the past and he's been honest and said how it is," Robshaw told IBTimes UK.
"It's always been the same, it has been for the last two or so years he's been in this position where it's going to come down to form and fitness.
"As a captain you want to have earned your place, first and foremost you are the captain and you want to be respected by the peers and the guys around you as well.
"If you are not justifying your selection then it might be harder for some of the guys to listen to you on the pitch.
"Tom is definitely one I look to when he's there," the Harlequins flanker added. "He's a great leader to have around and he's been a key part of this squad. To go to Argentina and do the double was very impressive.
"He's one of a handful of guys who always put their hand up and always help lead and drive the standards of the squad.
"You want that out there, that it isn't a one man thing, but there are a number of leaders that do put their hand up and do help out."
With uncertainty surrounding the role, Robshaw is not sure of leading England into a World Cup on home soil in 2015 and after being omitted from the Lions squad for the series in Australia, his place in the England starting XV is also in jeopardy.
Robshaw's 2013 imploded at the Millenium Stadium in March, as a Sam Warburton inspired Wales snatched the Six Nations championship and dealt the 27 year old an unrecoverable blow in his Lions hopes.
England face Australia, Argentina and New Zealand at Twickenham this autumn and after encouraging signs under Lancaster were washed away by Wales in Cardiff, Robshaw is keen for a marked improvement ahead of the country's crowning moment in two years' time.
"We really want to kick on now," he said. "Of course you want to win all your games, of course you want to have that sturdy steel defence and some real attacking flair really helps.
"We want to make sure England are in the best possible position going into that. You want to make sure we're ready.
"A home World Cup they'll be a huge amount of excitement around the country. In a few years' time Twickenham will be the venue for it.
"We need to make sure that as individuals that we're playing well and that we know what we are doing and that we are a team that can hopefully do our bit."
Chris Robshaw was speaking on behalf of Maximuscle, the sports nutrition product of choice for elite and amateur rugby players. Maximuscle have launched a Reward Scheme to help amateur rugby clubs raise their game, for more information visit www.maximuscle.com/grassroots
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