Borthwick will skipper Poms

Steve Borthwick will remain as England’s captain for their Six Nations opening game against Wales next month.

There was speculation that head coach Martin Johnson would axe Borthwick as captain following a series of poor results, which include eight defeats in their last 14 Tests.

Johnson, however, confirmed that Borthwick will lead the side in their Six Nations opener.

‘England team manager Martin Johnson has confirmed Steve Borthwick (Saracens) will captain the team,’ read a RFU statement.

Meanwhile, Johnson has called-up five players to his Six Nations squad to provide cover for injuries.

Worcester’s Matt Mullen and Leicester’s Dan Cole were called into the Six Nations squad as cover for injured props Andrew Sheridan and Julian White, while Wasps No 8 Dan Ward-Smith, Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw and Leicester scrumhalf Ben Youngs will also be in reserve.

England Six Nations squad:

Backs: Delon Armitage, Chris Ashton, Matt Banahan, Danny Care, Mark Cueto, Harry Ellis, Toby Flood, Ben Foden, Riki Flutey, Shontayne Hape, Dan Hipkiss, Paul Hodgson, Ugo Monye, Mathew Tait, Jonny Wilkinson, Ben Youngs.

Forwards: Steffon Armitage, Steve Borthwick (c), Jordan Crane, Tom Croft, Louis Deacon, Nick Easter, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Courtney Lawes, Lee Mears, Lewis Moody, Tim Payne, Simon Shaw, Andrew Sheridan, Steve Thompson, Julian White, David Wilson, Dan Ward-Smith, Chris Robshaw, Matt Mullen, Dan Cole.