Wallabies: Ben Mowen replaces James Horwill as skipper

Wallabies captain Ben Mowen

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Head coach Ewen McKenzie has named Ben Mowen as captain for Australia’s QBE Autumn International clash against England at Twickenham on Saturday and told his predecessor James Horwill to focus on ‘bringing his A game’.

Mowen staked his claim to be skipper when he led the Wallabies out in their 14-13 Rugby Championship success against Argentina.

And McKenzie has decided to stick with him to face England, with Quade Cooper selected as vice-captain, to allow Horwill to rediscover his peak form without the added pressure of the captaincy weighing him down.

McKenzie said: “Decisions like these are never easy, but sometimes you need to make hard choices for the long-term benefit of the individual. A strong individual performance will be the best contribution he can make to this game.

“Without the captaincy, Ben now gets another opportunity to lead his country, while we’re recognising Quade for the ongoing decision-making role he plays on the field and the positive involvements he continues to make in contributing to the culture of the team off the field.

“However, like we do every week, we’ll re-assess all selection decisions for next week’s game against Italy after we focus on taking care of business against England on Saturday night.”

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