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Wood to lead by example

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

“I’m so proud to have been given the honour,” he said. “It’s something you can only dream of as a kid.

“I’ve just got to rely on what’s got me here in the first place. I always try to lead by example, through my energy, commitment and bravery. It’s also important not to say too much – be as concise as possible and also allow the other leaders in the team to speak.

“First and foremost though, you’ve got to be worth your place in the team and that means leading through your endeavour and your commitment.”

While the game marks the beginning of the hosts’ war-up campaign, Wood says there will be no distractions from what is an important game in itself.

“We’ve all been working hard behind the scenes for a good six or seven weeks now and a good performance endorses all that we’ve been doing.

“It’s a big game – forget about the tournament. It’s a Test against France in front of 80,000 people and we want to win the game on its own merit. We don’t pull on an England shirt and give anything other than everything.”

The flanker is also looking forward to pulling on the Red Rose alongside clubmate and fellow back row Calum Clark, a man he says will bring plenty to the field.

“He’s comfortable in this environment – he’s been around the training camps before – and he’s had to wait a long time for his opportunity,” Wood added. “He’s an emotional, passionate man and that’s a huge asset. He’s come a long way and now plays with a lot of composure, too.

“I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him and hope it goes well for him.”

The match is an 8pm kick off on Saturday evening, with live coverage from Twickenham on Sky Sports 1 from 7:15pm.