Setbacks have made Wood strong enough to be England skipper, says Mallinder

GOOD CHOICE - Jim Mallinder was delighted to see Tom Wood named as England captain (picture by Linda Dawson)
GOOD CHOICE - Jim Mallinder was delighted to see Tom Wood named as England captain (picture by Linda Dawson)
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Jim Mallinder believes Tom Wood’s injury setbacks have helped the Saints flanker gather the strength to become England captain.

Wood, who missed out on a place in the British & Irish Lions squad, will skipper the Red Rose on their tour of Argentina this summer.

He has been tipped to do a ‘fantastic job’ by England head coach Stuart Lancaster, who has made the Northampton man a staple fixture of his national team.

Wood has overcome a problematic foot injury in recent times to rediscover his best form for club and country.

He was named man of the match in England’s momentous win over world champions New Zealand in December, while the 26-year-old has helped Saints into the Premiership play-offs.

And he will now have the honour of leading his country in a two-Test tour of Argentina in June.

“We’re all delighted for Tom,” said Saints boss Mallinder. “He is a player who leads by example and who demands the highest standards from everyone else in the team and in the squad.

“Over the last 18 months he has had to battle back from an awkward injury, but the setbacks he had during that period have made him all the more determined to succeed.

“Argentina is a tough place to play and the Pumas are a formidable team, especially at home, and we wish Tom every success in leading the England squad there in June.”