Chris Robshaw will offer his support to his successor if relieved of the England captaincy as he concentrates on securing his place in Eddie Jones’s team.
The Harlequins flanker is expected to be stripped of the leadership duties for the forthcoming RBS Six Nations with Dylan Hartley favourite to be installed in his place, providing he recovers from the concussion that has kept him out since November.
Robshaw is not Jones’s preferred openside; instead the No 6 jersey is his most likely home and the 29-year-old knows he must focus on ensuring his ongoing presence in England’s back row.
“I’m not sure what will happen with the captaincy, that’s down to Eddie. If Eddie continues with me as captain I’d be hugely honoured,” said Robshaw.
“If he decides to go to someone else then I’d respect that decision and fully back the person who comes in.
“As a player you want to be part of that team and my mentality is to first and foremost make sure I’m part of that team.
“That has to be the focus, to make sure I’m playing. Yes the World Cup didn’t go according to plan, but it’s still a very exciting group of players that England have.”
England failed to advance from the group stage of a World Cup for the first time when successive defeats to Wales and Australia dumped them out of this autumn’s tournament.
Robshaw has carried the burden of that failure more than most after his leadership was heavily criticised.
Speaking for the first time since the World Cup, Robshaw returned to his club Harlequins to begin the healing process.
“I was hugely disappointed initially, it’s one of those things that will stay with you,” said Robshaw.
“I had a lull when I was a little annoyed with things, but now I’m back in a good place.”