Rugby Union

England captain to be named on Monday with Dylan Hartley the favourite

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Football News

England are set to name their captain for the RBS 6 Nations on Monday with Dylan Hartley expected to replace Chris Robshaw at the helm.

Eddie Jones will speak to senior players the morning after they gather at the squad's Surrey training camp for the first time under their new head coach and an announcement is likely to be made in the afternoon.

Hartley is Jones' preferred choice and the Northampton hooker will be given another chance to prove his fitness in Saturday's Champions Cup clash with the Scarlets following a spell out with concussion and a rib injury.

If he comes through the final European group game unscathed, the path will be clear for him to fill the post held by Robshaw for the past four years.

Jones confirmed that World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson and former Australia flanker George Smith will perform informal coaching roles with England during the Six Nations.

Wilkinson will offer kicking guidance while Smith, the Test centurion and specialist openside, will provide advice to England's back rows on the breakdown. Neither will be paid for their work.

"With both of them it's a very informal relationship. They will come in and help the players at various times," said Jones, who gave Smith his first cap in 2000 when he was acting as Wallabies coach.

"George will definitely come in next Wednesday to help the back rowers. But it's very informal. He's not a coach as such, he's doing it out of friendship.

"He's one of the best defence breakdown forwards in the world. He will help our aspiring number sevens.

"George takes the breakdown work very seriously. He has done a lot of work on skill development at the breakdown.

"George is a lovely guy. I'll have to buy him a few beers further down the track, though. He's not getting paid for it, definitely not. I'll buy Jonny a sparkling mineral water."

Jones has so far recruited Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard as his assistants, but expects his backroom staff to be completed in time for the June tour to Australia, joking that it is too soon to raid the Aviva Premiership again.

"We've pulled two blokes out of their clubs and it has been like a nuclear bomb has gone off," Jones said.

"We have to work with this staff now, I'm asking favours of people to come and help and we'll get through. Then for the summer tour we'll have a full-blown coaching staff."

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