28 Oct 2008

Johnson hands Borthwick England captaincy

7:19 am on 28 October 2008

Steve Borthwick has been chosen as the new captain of the England rugby team.

The Saracens lock led England in New Zealand in June in the absence through injury of prop forward Phil Vickery.

Defeats in both Tests against the All Blacks were overshadowed by allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against several England players.

But with Borthwick, 29, assured of his place on merit and boasting a good fitness record, manager Martin Johnsonhas decided to give him the captaincy permanently.

Borthwick's reign starts with November's tough-looking series of Tests at Twickenham where the Pacific Islands, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand provide the opposition on successive weekends.