Tom Wood says to captain England would be a huge honour but he is not getting carried away by all the hype.
The Northampton Saints flanker has been strongly tipped to be his country’s new leader under interim head coach Stuart Lancaster after Lewis Moody announced his international retirement.
This week former England skipper Lawrence Dallaglio has backed Wood saying the 25-year-old “fits the bill”.
Modest Wood’s more immediate concern is about playing well for his club.
But he is expected to be part of Lancaster’s 32-man Elite Player Squad announced today – along with a host of other Saints players – although no decision will be made on the captaincy.
Wood and Harlequins’ Chris Robshaw are favourites to land the role but Saints skipper Dylan Hartley and team-mate Courtney Lawes have also been backed.
Wood, who has won nine England caps, said: “It is every young player’s dream to play for England and to captain them is a huge honour.
“I am very focused on Saints’ rugby and making sure I am in form and putting myself in the spotlight that way.
“I am not looking to tout myself as anything.
“A lot of what has been said is media hype – it has certainly not come from me.
“If it has come from players and coaches then that is flattering.
“I am just concentrating on getting back to my best form and Saints back to winning ways.”
However, Wood is excited by the new England regime and last season’s Aviva Premiership player of the year is looking forward to working with Lancaster and forwards coach Graham Rowntree.
“After our disappointment and underachievement at the World Cup there was always going to be change brought about,” he continued.
“There has been a lot of controversy so I guess it is good to wipe the slate clean a little bit and set out with an exciting new team.
“There is potential change and there are a lot of players on form in the Premiership. It will be an interesting time.
“It is not for me judge the coaches, but I have dealt with Stuart in the past and we have always had a good working relationship.
“I have been very impressed at Saxons level and I know the guys from Leeds have got a high opinion of him.
“But it is for him to judge me and not the other way around.”