Tag Archives: qualities

Chris Robshaw has been named England skipper for the Six Nations as Stuart Lancaster keeps his faith in the flanker

Robshaw named England skipper for Six Nations as Lancaster keeps faith in flanker

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

19:53 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

20:03 GMT, 21 January 2013

England have confirmed Chris Robshaw as their captain for the forthcoming RBS Six Nations in an appointment that will have caused no surprises.

Robshaw has been retained after leading England to a record 38-21 victory over New Zealand at Twickenham on December 1 and will fill the post for a second successive championship.

Northampton forwards Dylan Hartley and Tom Wood are viewed as potential captains, but coach Stuart Lancaster views 26-year-old Harlequins openside Robshaw as the outstanding candidate.

Chris Robshaw will lead England into the Six Nations as one of the favourites

Responsibility: Chris Robshaw will lead England into the Six Nations as one of the favourites

Lancaster, who announced Robshaw's reappointment at tonight's squad meeting, believes the Lions captaincy candidate has developed into superb leader.

'Chris stepped into the role 12 months ago when we were building a new team and he has grown as a captain on and off the field,' Lancaster said.

'He showed those leadership qualities during the QBE Internationals and especially against the All Blacks when the whole squad got behind him.

'We have a number of leaders and I know they will all take this team forwards with Chris as we look to kick on from that result.'

Robshaw will be hoping to continue the success which led to victory over New Zealand

Ice Cold: Robshaw will be hoping to continue the success which led to victory over New Zealand

Robshaw made his Test debut against
Argentina in 2009 and despite his lack of experience, was installed as
skipper upon his next cap against Scotland at the start of last year's
Six Nations.

He has continued in the post since,
missing only the final Test against South Africa last June due to
injury, and has been a key part of Lancaster's rebuilding program
following the disastrous 2011 World Cup.

'Stuart told me this afternoon and I am really pleased to be asked again,' Robshaw said.

'There are other leaders in the squad that Stuart could have turned to so I am really honoured.

'The lads have been great over the
last year and now we our focus is on building on the New Zealand
performance and getting a result against Scotland.'

Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns will
undergo a scan over the coming days to assess the extent of the damage
of the knee injury he sustained during Saturday's 36-16 victory over
Mont de Marsan.

Robshaw celebrates with Ben Youngs and James Haskell

Good times: Robshaw celebrates with Ben Youngs and James Haskell

Robshaw and Stuart Lancaster have formed a formidable partnership leading England

Together: Robshaw and Stuart Lancaster have formed a formidable partnership leading England

Randy Lerner to hand Paul Lambert January cash boost in bid to revive Aston Villa

Lerner set to hand Lambert January cash boost in bid to revive free-falling Villa

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UPDATED:

12:50 GMT, 31 December 2012

Under pressure: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

Under pressure: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner will provide further financial backing to manager Paul Lambert during the January transfer window to help stave off the threat of relegation.

Lerner splashed out almost 23million to help Lambert rebuild the squad during last summer, with the accent on bringing in up and coming young talent.

There had been encouraging signs up to a fortnight ago with Villa reaching the Capital One Cup semi-finals via a 4-1 success at Norwich and then winning 3-1 over Liverpool at Anfield.

That victory was achieved with a side having an average age of less than 24 and was the youngest ever fielded in the Premier League.

But Villa's lack of experience, due in part to a lengthy and growing injury list, has been highlighted over the festive period with 15 goals conceded without reply in three games.

Villa's Christmas collapse

Chelsea 8 Aston Villa 0 (Sun 23 Dec)

Aston Villa 0 Tottenham 4 (Wed 26 Dec)

Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3 (Sat 29 Dec)

Lerner and Lambert held talks about the approach to be taken next month before and after Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by Wigan left Villa only a point above the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

Lambert also has the option of trying to offload some of the players who had only played a bit-part role even before becoming injured to bolster funds.

The likes of record signing Darren Bent, Charles N'Zogbia, Shay Given, and Stephen Ireland have made only a handful of starts this season.

Villa have also missed the leadership qualities of skipper Stiliyan Petrov who continues to battle against acute leukaemia.

Ouch: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd reflect on the 3-0 defeat against Wigan

Ouch: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd reflect on the 3-0 defeat against Wigan

Lambert retains the backing of the Villa fans and the boos after the latest setback against the Latics were more in frustration at a poor performance rather than being aimed directly at the Scot.

There is also no suggestion that his own position is under review with Lerner recognising the long term nature of the rebuilding job needed at Villa.

Martin O"Neill lines up 5m bid to bring Michael Dawson to Sunderland

O'Neill lines up 5m January swoop for Dawson to shore up Sunderland defence

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UPDATED:

11:58 GMT, 9 December 2012

Martin O'Neill is preparing a 5m January pursuit of Tottenham defender Michael Dawson as part of a spending spree to revive Sunderland's flagging season.

The Black Cats boss will be given significant funds by club owner Ellis Short in a bid to correct a poor start to the season.

And 29-year-old Dawson is top of the list, according to the Sunday People.

On the move Sunderland are reportedly lining up a 5m January move for Tottenham defender Michael Dawson

On the move Sunderland are reportedly lining up a 5m January move for Tottenham defender Michael Dawson

Sunderland find themselves in the relegation zone, with just two wins and 13 points to their name so far.

Their defensive record hasn't been too catastrophic – with 21 goals conceded – but O'Neill believes Dawson's leadership qualities could add extra steel to the side.

When Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas arrived in the summer, he was willing to offload Dawson and a 5.5m fee was agreed with Queens Park Rangers before the player turned it down.

Reinforcements: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill wants to firm up a defence which has conceded 21 goals in 15 games this season, leaving the club 18th in the table

Reinforcements: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill wants to firm up a defence which has conceded 21 goals in 15 games this season, leaving the club 18th in the table

However, Dawson, who has four England caps, has worked hard to win back his starting place in the last few weeks – making a January move less likely.

Sunderland may face competition from QPR, with Harry Redknapp reportedly keen on signing a player with whom he enjoyed a good relationship at Spurs.

Dawson has been at White Hart Lane since January 2005, when he joined for 8m from Nottingham Forest.

Chris Robshaw may lose Lions place, says Warren Gatland

Tough ruck for Robshaw: Lions skipper He's struggling to make the squad, says Gatland

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UPDATED:

01:02 GMT, 29 November 2012

As if Chris Robshaw hasn't suffered enough already this week, the England captain was dealt another hammer blow on Wednesday: to his Lions hopes.

The 26-year-old Harlequins flanker has had to endure criticism and scrutiny after England's defeat by South Africa last Saturday.

His decision to go for goal from a late penalty was questioned on the field and has been widely debated ever since.

Tough ruck: Chris Robshaw could lose his Lions place in the Lions squad

Tough ruck: Chris Robshaw could lose his Lions place in the Lions squad

For Robshaw, it has been an uncomfortable peek into the downside of captaincy but now his playing credentials have been called into question – by a man he would be hoping to impress.

Warren Gatland named Robshaw as a Lions captaincy contender when he became head coach in September but the Kiwi suggested that, far from being a potential skipper for the Australia tour, Robshaw may lack the specialist skills to be selected at all.

After England's defeat by the Wallabies on November 17, when visiting No 7 Michael Hooper put in a man-of-the-match display, there was fresh talk about England's lack of an out-and-out openside.

Gatland continued that theme: 'Sometimes they struggle for a genuine No 7. I know Chris (Robshaw) has been doing that role and people speak really strongly of his leadership qualities.

Hard week: Robshaw has endured a great deal of criticism this week

Hard week: Robshaw has endured a great deal of criticism this week

'The hard thing about the English game now is the way it's being very dominantly refereed towards the attacking side, which often makes it difficult for a genuine No 7 to get himself in the game.

'So you can go in there with sixand- a halves or sixes. We saw that with Leicester playing (Thomas) Waldrom at seven as well and being able to get away with it. Just watch how quickly referees are calling “ruck, hands off, leave it alone”.

'I think if they get that balance and allow the sevens to be more aggressive and compete legitimately, that's going to help develop more No 7s.

'You need genuine sevens going to Australia. You need sevens who are competing hard on the ball and being effective. It's not just about Pocock – it's Hooper and Gill as well (Wallaby opensides). They are all three quality No 7s.'

Wrong call: Robshaw had a tough decision to make during England's defeat against South Africa

Wrong call: Robshaw had a tough decision to make during England's defeat against South Africa

Wrong call: Robshaw had a tough decision to make during England's defeat against South Africa

Another factor working against Robshaw is that Wales skipper Sam Warburton, the early frontrunner for the Lions captaincy, is a No 7 with a poacher's instinct.

While the Cardiff player has been striving for form in a difficult summer tour Down Under and on into this season, Gatland yesterday offered him words of encouragement after an improved showing against New Zealand.

'I was pleased last week with Sam,' he said. 'He had been under a bit of criticism and I thought he was outstanding against the All Blacks. I thought he carried strongly in the second half.

'I spoke to Sam after the game and told him, “I thought you did a really good job on McCaw”.

'He said, “I didn't feel McCaw was a real threat at the breakdown. He was just a real nuisance in terms of slowing down the game, how quickly he gets back to his feet”.

'He said (David) Pocock is a different animal – he floats around the back, sees an opportunity and competes really hard on the ball. That was a pleasing conversation – Sam identified the difference in sevens he was playing against.'

Gatland has to appoint his assistant coaches, to be unveiled on December 12 in Edinburgh. Then comes a reconnaissance trip to Australia, to assess training venues and other logistics.

'The captaincy issue is the tough one at the moment,' he said at the launch of the adidas Lions shirt.

Bouncing back England are hoping to recover from defeat against the Springboks

Bouncing back England are hoping to recover from defeat against the Springboks

'Ideally, you are saying it is someone guaranteed selection for the Test side, but you are looking at the strength in certain positions; there is no guarantee in that.

'Someone like Jamie Heaslip has captained Ireland in the last couple of games – that puts him in the frame as well. There are a lot of potential options. It's a really interesting debating point but I don't think it's something we should get too hung up about.'

One issue Gatland is avoiding is the home nations' poor results against the southern hemisphere.

'We might not be as strong as we can be,' he said, 'but we'll be ready when we need to be.'

Meanwhile, England's reserve fly-half Owen Farrell is a shock nomination for the International Rugby Board player of the year award, with France No 10 Frederic Michalak and New Zealand's McCaw and Dan Carter.

Rugby league: Kevin Sinfield honoured to be England captain for Wales clash

Sinfield delighted to be skipper at last for Tri-Nations clash with Wales

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UPDATED:

23:02 GMT, 26 October 2012

Twenty-two years after first wearing a captain’s armband with Lancashire Under 10s, Kevin Sinfield achieves his biggest personal honour on Saturday when he leads out England for the Tri-Nations clash with Wales.

Despite being marked out during his teenage years as a future national captain it is only now, aged 32 and with Jamie Peacock retired from international rugby, that he gets his chance. But 10 years leading Leeds have steeled him; it is not an opportunity he is likely to waste.

Key man: Sinfield in action for England against Australia at Wembley last year

Key man: Sinfield in action for England against Australia at Wembley last year

Sinfield said: ‘You have to be a leader of some sort just to be in this squad. Every player involved has got different leadership qualities. At 32 you think your time may have passed, but I’m really looking forward to it.

‘The last month with Leeds, then being made England captain, have been some of the most special moments of my career.

‘I love being involved with the England squad and love the morals and standards we’ve put in place.’

Sinfield’s courage, resilience and intelligence are key attributes, but it is his control and distribution that will be most needed against a Welsh side that lost in France last week.

The Oldham-born stand-off puts one name above all others when he considers his new role as national captain: Ellery Hanley.

Sinfield said: ‘He was the figurehead for British rugby and how he played and led teams left a big mark on me.’

TV: LIVE on BBC2 from 2.30pm.

Suso signs long-term Liverpool contract

This is one of the best days of my life: Suso delighted to sign new Liverpool deal

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UPDATED:

17:19 GMT, 19 October 2012

Happy days: Suso was delighted to put pen to paper at Anfield

Happy days: Suso was delighted to put pen to paper at Anfield

Liverpool midfielder Suso has signed a new long-term contract at Anfield.

The 18-year-old Spaniard, who joined Liverpool from hometown club Cadiz in 2010, committed his future to the Reds when he put pen to paper on the new deal at the side's training complex at Melwood.

After signing the contract, Suso told the club's official website: 'I am really happy. Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in the world and this is the right place for me.'

Suso was given his senior debut for Liverpool in the Europa League win over Young Boys last month after impressing in the youth ranks and the reserve side.

'I am happy Brendan has shown trust in me,' Suso said.

'I had no questions about signing a new deal and I am really glad to have done so.

Break through: Suso is becoming a big part of manager Brendan Rodgers' plans

Break through: Suso is becoming a big part of manager Brendan Rodgers' plans

'I am comfortable here. I have played some games for the first team and I hope to continue doing that, but I need to work hard every day for that to happen.

'This is one of the best days of my life.'

Since his debut, the teenager has made four further appearances for the first team, and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers believes he has all of the qualities needed to develop into a top class player at Anfield.

Rodgers said: 'We are all delighted Suso has committed his long-term future to Liverpool Football Club.

'At 18, he has demonstrated outstanding technical qualities but also shown very good temperament to play for such a prestigious club.

'His commitment is very good news for all our young Academy players and the excellent work taken place by the Academy coaches and staff.'

John Terry: Who can replace him for England – Martin Keown

Terry leaves big hole in England's defence… but who can fill it

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 24 September 2012

There is no question England will miss John Terry’s leadership qualities.

There is a self-assurance and confidence that emanates from him and rubs off on everyone around him. It is his star quality in some ways.

But to maintain that confidence, Terry has to feel that his body will let him perform at the level he wants. He has been fighting injuries and I’m sure that will have played a part in his decision.

In the dock: John Terry was at Wembley for his FA hearing on Monday

In the dock: John Terry was at Wembley for his FA hearing on Monday

Terry has always been a fighter and as a footballer you only let go when you realise your body won’t let you compete at the highest level. Once you realise it is becoming one injury after another, you have to protect your club career. Maybe it is the right time for Terry to go anyway.

Also, when you are a divisive character and have critics, the way you prove your doubters wrong is through your performances. Terry might feel he can’t do that any more and would receive double the criticism if he’s not playing well.

Over and out: Terry retired from international football on Sunday night

Over and out: Terry retired from international football on Sunday night

Still, with Rio Ferdinand seemingly not high up on Roy Hodgson’s agenda, Terry’s departure leaves the national team exposed ahead of the next World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

His lack of mobility and pace were obstacles at international level but the Chelsea captain could read the game well enough to not get caught out. Now others must step up in his absence.

THE CONTENDERS

Rio Ferdinand: Will Terry’s departure open the door for Ferdinand to return for England He’s certainly still good enough. Hodgson backed Terry ahead of Ferdinand for Euro 2012 — I don’t think that was the right decision — and the England boss might be doubting it himself now. If Ferdinand is good enough to play for Manchester United, he is good enough for his country. He never wastes a pass and has the pace to cope with international football. It is just a question of whether his body can manage club and country.

Still got it: Rio Ferdinand (centre) shone for Manchester United against Liverpool

Still got it: Rio Ferdinand (centre) shone for Manchester United against Liverpool

Gary Cahill: He will step into Terry’s shoes for England and eventually for Chelsea. He is more mobile than Terry but not as dominant in the air. Like the former England captain, he weighs in with plenty of goals. He needs to play regularly for Chelsea rather than be in and out of the team as he has been.

In that sense, Cahill’s biggest problem is Terry, who stands in his way. He needs to finish his team-mate’s domestic career and maybe Terry is aware of the threat. Quitting international football will keep the 31-year-old fresher to fend off Cahill.

Joleon Lescott: I’ve seen a lot of confidence coming into his game, brought about by winning the Premier League title. His mobility still concerns me, but he deals with danger in a no-nonsense fashion and his distribution has improved immeasurably from playing with better players. Like Cahill and Terry, he is very strong in the air and scores goals for fun.

Main man: Joleon Lescott (centre) has been impressive for Manchester City

Main man: Joleon Lescott (centre) has been impressive for Manchester City

Micah Richards: With fewer English defenders playing for their clubs each week, Hodgson might have to be imaginative. Richards is a good option and performed well at centre back during the Olympics. In international football you need pace more than aerial dominance and Richards has so much of that, plus mobility and power. He could easily fill the role if he’s nurtured and developed.

Phil Jagielka: He is Everton’s Jamie Carragher, sniffing out danger and playing on the absolute limit. His pace is a worry but he has developed tremendously well. He senses danger better than most.

P.S Don’t forget Phil Jones and Chris Smalling at United, who have been unlucky with injuries. They will be key to England’s future.

Alastair Cook unveiled as new England Test captain

Strauss has left me huge boots to fill, admits new England Test captain Cook

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UPDATED:

13:26 GMT, 29 August 2012

England's new Test captain Alastair Cook admitted that he has a lot to live up to following the retirement of his predecessor Andrew Strauss on Wednesday.

Cook took over as one-day captain from Strauss following last year's World Cup and now faces the task of galvanising both the 50-over and Test teams ahead of an arduous 18 months.

Following this winter's tour of India, back-to-back Ashes series will loom large on the horizon before the World Cup in Australia.

Captain Cook: England's new Test skipper takes over from Andrew Strauss (below left)

Captain Cook: England's new Test skipper takes over from Andrew Strauss (below left)

Captain Cook: England's new Test skipper takes over from Andrew Strauss (below left)

'Obviously I've got huge boots to fill,' Cook said.

'Andrew played 100 Test matches, 7,000 runs, and it feels like I've spent all my England career walking out to bat with him.

'That's a huge hole to fill – and unfortunately it might mean I have to take the first ball now.

'As an England dressing room it's going to be hard to fill his boots, and I think that's a huge compliment to Andrew Strauss.

Experience: Cook already has 20 Test hundreds

Experience: Cook already has 20 Test hundreds

Experience: Cook already has 20 Test hundreds

'We've got India away and we've got two Ashes series in the next 18 months, so there's a lot of cricket to play and hopefully I can do a good job.

'I think Straussy summed it up, you've got to throw yourself into it and meet the challenge head-on and I hope I've got the leadership qualities to be able to do that.'

ECB chief executive David Collier said: 'On behalf of the ECB and everyone involved in cricket I'd like to thank Andrew Strauss for his outstanding contribution to the game.

Been there, done it: Cook has captained England's ODI team for the last year

Been there, done it: Cook has captained England's ODI team for the last year

Been there, done it: Cook has captained England's ODI team for the last year

Cut above: Cook was the only genuine candidate to replace Strauss

Cut above: Cook was the only genuine candidate to replace Strauss

'Andrew has been a highly successful captain and opening batsman for Middlesex and England who will be remembered for leading the side to two Ashes victories and to the top of the test rankings.

'He has shown tremendous integrity, dedication and commitment both on and off the field and under his leadership the side has grown immeasurably and reached new levels of professionalism.

'Andrew's calmness and authority when dealing with some of the most difficult moments in our sport in recent times should be applauded and I have no doubt that his contribution as an ambassador for the game will be recognised by anyone who has had an opportunity to spend time with him.

'His legacy within the game will be felt for many years to come and we now need to continue to build on the progress we have made under his leadership.

'I would like to congratulate Alastair on becoming Test captain. He has shown he has the traits needed to be a successful captain and has demonstrated his leadership capabilities as one day captain over the last 16 months.

'On behalf of the ECB I would like to wish Alastair and Andy Flower all the very best for the exciting challenges that lie ahead.'

New era: Cook will lead England in India this winter

New era: Cook will lead England in India this winter

London 2012 Olympics: Football – Jose Mourinho bemused at David Beckham omission

I'm still amazed Beckham was left out of the Olympic squad, says Mourinho

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UPDATED:

10:37 GMT, 5 August 2012

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his bemusement at Stuart Pearce's decision to leave former England captain David Beckham out of his 18-man Team GB squad.

Beckham, 36, played a pivotal role in bringing the Games to London back in 2005 and was expected to be named as one of three eligible over-23 players for the tournament.

But the LA Galaxy star was overlooked in favour of Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards as Pearce's squad were knocked out at the quarter-final stage by South Korea.

Missing out: Beckham (right) shares a joke with Real Madrid's Kaka during a friendly this week

Missing out: Beckham (right) shares a joke with Real Madrid's Kaka during a friendly this week

'There is something I don’t understand,' said Mourinho, who was talking after his Real side beat LA Galaxy 5-1 in a pre-season friendly in California.

'If now the Olympic Games are in London, it is because of Beckham. I know, because I was also inside of that project.

'It’s because of Sebastian Coe and other people, but he was the most important face of that project. I don’t understand why he is not playing. I cannot understand.

'In a group of 18 players you have football qualities to give and human qualities to give. He is one of the best football professionals. I’m so sorry he’s not there.'

Down and out: Stuart Pearce's side were beaten on penalties by South Korea

Down and out: Stuart Pearce's side were beaten on penalties by South Korea

The former Chelsea manager added: 'Beckham is always very nice to me. He has always very good words for me.

'I’m so sorry I could never be his coach, because I would love it.

'Now it is too late because David is in the last years of his career.'

Mourinho makes no attempt to hide his admiration for Beckham – and the feeling is reciprocated.

'Jose is an exceptional manager and an amazing human being as well,' said Beckham.

Admiration: Mourinho spoke highly of Beckham

Admiration: Mourinho spoke highly of Beckham

'He was one of the first people to call me after I ruptured my Achilles. He kept in touch with me. It makes him a great human being.

'What he does for teams and what he does for players, individuals, is very special.

'There are not many managers who can do that. He’s a very special person and manager. What he has achieved in his career, his very short career, is amazing.'

South Africa name Jean de Villiers as captain

De Villiers to lead Springbok in three-Test series against England

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UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 4 June 2012

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has named experienced centre Jean de Villiers as his captain for the upcoming three-Test series against England.

The 31-year-old, who has won 72 caps for the Springboks, has initially been handed the role until the end of the England tour, which begins with Saturday's first Test in Durban.

The Western Province back, who succeeds the now-retired John Smit, was preferred to the other strong candidate for the role, Pierre Spies of Meyer's former club Blue Bulls.

Pride: Jean de Villiers has been chosen to lead the Springboks against England

Pride: Jean de Villiers has been chosen to lead the Springboks against England

New coach Meyer, who has named a 32-man squad, will review the position at the end of the series with two other potential captains, Schalk Burger and Juan Smith, presently out injured.

Meyer said: 'Jean's leadership qualities are well established and he has always impressed me with his leadership on and off the field.

'I've also been impressed by the way he's led a young and inexperienced DHL Stormers team in Vodacom Super Rugby this year.

Thanks for the memories: John Smit, the former captain, recently retired

Thanks for the memories: John Smit, the former captain, recently retired

'Jean commands respect from everyone in South African rugby and in the short space of time we've worked together, Jean has shown that he understands what we want to achieve on the field.

'He will be surrounded by a core of strong leaders in the squad and we have the utmost faith in them.'

De Villiers is the second most experienced player in the Springboks squad, behind 74-cap Bryan Habana.

De Villiers, who has scored 19 tries since his Test debut 10 years ago, said: 'My heart was in my throat when Heyneke told me about his decision on Sunday evening.

'This is an honour that is not bestowed upon many people and I really hope I can do my country proud.

'I do realise there is massive responsibility that comes with this position. The real, hard work only starts now.'