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Stuart Lancaster: 'Tom Wood deserves England captaincy'

Stuart Lancaster insists that each member of his England squad is relishing the chance to take on France at Twickenham next weekend.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has told Tom Wood that he will have the "ideal opportunity" to showcase his leadership abilities against France.

The Northampton Saints back-row will captain the Red Rose in Saturday's Twickenham showdown.

Thirty-six cap Wood has previously led England during their tour of Argentina in 2013, and he will now do likewise in his side's opening Rugby World Cup warm-up match.

"We are really excited to play at Twickenham and to put into practice some what we have been working on for the last six weeks," Lancaster told

"The lads are itching to get out and play a match and these games give us a chance to look at a wide range of players and combinations before we narrow down our selection further.

"Tom is one of several leaders in the squad and he captained the team well in Argentina when Chris Robshaw was rested, so this is an ideal opportunity to take the armband at Twickenham against what will be a quality French team."

Lancaster has named three uncapped players in his 15-man side for the first of a double-header against France.

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Bath's English centre Sam Burgess looks on during the European Rugby Champions Cup rugby union match between Bath and Montpellier at the Recreation Ground in Bath, south west England on December 12, 2014
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