ENGLAND No8 Nick Easter says he would relish the chance to lead his country into the Six Nations if asked to take over as captain from the injured Lewis Moody.
Regular skipper Moody was yesterday ruled out for up to six weeks, meaning he is likely to miss England’s first three matches of the competition, starting in Wales on 4 February.
Harlequins star Easter (right) is favourite to be handed the armband, as he was when Moody was rested in November against Samoa, and he would be delighted to wear it again.
“I thoroughly enjoyed being captain against Samoa in the autumn and if the opportunity came again I’d grab it with both hands,” he told City A.M.
“But I’ve got to concentrate on my own performance first. We’ll wait and see. Mike Tindall captains Gloucester [and is another option] so we’ll have to see what [manager] Martin Johnson decides.”
Flanker Moody, who injured knee ligaments playing for Bath at the weekend, joins fellow forwards Courtney Lawes and Tom Croft in the treatment room. Easter admits their loss is untimely but is confident England have enough talent in their ranks to pick up where an encouraging November left off.
“Every time I look another player seems to be out injured,” he joked. “Three of the starting forwards are out now but we’ve got strength in depth. What will have to be spot on are the details when we go away to Portugal next week [for a training camp].
“There shouldn’t be any fear that we’ll lose momentum from the autumn – it’s a squad effort. It’s great that the first game is in Cardiff – there’s no better place it could be.”
England will call up a replacement for Moody on Monday, with Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw, Andy Saull and Phil Dowson candidates for promotion from the Saxons squad.
Easter, meanwhile, is refusing to dream of club glory, despite a run of seven straight wins taking Quins to fourth in the Premiership and to the brink of the Amlin Challenge Cup last eight.
“We’ve been in this position before,” he said. “Two years ago we were second in the league and in the semi-finals in Europe, but we ended up with nothing. We’re not looking any further than Bayonne [on Saturday].”