Northampton Saints have today confirmed Tom Wood as club captain for the 2016/17 season.
Wood, 29, is no stranger to the role having led the Saints on multiple occasions since arriving at Franklin’s Gardens in 2010, most notably as match day skipper for the triumphant Aviva Premiership and Challenge Cup finals of 2014.
The flanker - who has worn the black, green and gold 129 times - is capped 42 times by England and also led his country on the 2011 tour of Argentina.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says Wood was the standout candidate for the job.
“Tom has long been part of a strong group of leaders at the club and we believe he has all the credentials to be an outstanding captain for Northampton Saints,” he explained. “We’ve seen in the past that he always leads by example, both on the field with his unbelievable work rate and passion, as well as off it with his wholehearted approach to everything he does.
“His past experiences in the role for both club and country made him the overwhelming choice.
“He takes over from Lee, who put his all into the role last season and will continue to play a big part on the field and in the leadership group we’ve already mentioned.
“Tom is the club captain, but there is much more to it behind the scenes than just one man and I’m sure he will have the full support of both Lee and the rest of the squad.”
“I’m hugely honoured and privileged to be in a position to be able to accept the role,” Wood commented. “I’m really looking forward to an exciting new challenge leading a club with such a proud history and great players and captains who have gone before me.
“On the field, nothing will change in terms of the way I approach the game, the things I say or do. The challenge of being club captain comes more behind the scenes as far as your relationship with the coaches and players goes. I’ll be doing my utmost to drive standards and keep expectations as high as they should be.
“With that in mind, I want to thank Lee for his contributions last year and also for the dignity and grace with which he handed me the reins. To have his support means the world to me and I’ll be relying a huge amount on the guys around me to help make this club what it can be.”