Northampton's Tom Wood not distracted by England skipper talk

Northampton flanker Tom Wood says talk of him becoming England captain will not distract him from his club duties.

The 25-year-old only played twice at the World Cup but is backed by Saints director Jim Mallinder, and others, to lead his country in the future.

Wood told BBC Look East: "Every young player dreams of playing for England, and the captaincy would be a bonus.

"But playing well for Saints is what puts you in the selectors' eyes and gets you those rewards eventually."

The reigning Premiership player of the year added: "There's no point looking any further than that."

But with Stuart Lancaster, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell taking over as interim England coaches, and World Cup captain Lewis Moody having retired, both selection and the captaincy for the Six Nations are up for grabs.

"There's an opportunity for the coaches to make changes, and hopefully guys will be picked on form. In that sense, it's up in the air, everyone's got a chance, and may the best man win.

"[To be linked with the captaincy] is a huge compliment, and if it has come from players, colleagues and coaches, even more so.

"But for me, I keep my feet on the ground and don't let any of that get to me. I try to lead Saints in my own way, more by example than anything else, and I just try to play as well as I can.

Wood is set to face Castres in the fourth match of a frustrating Heineken Cup campaign in stark contrast to last season when Saints reached the competition's final.

"It has been a contrast to last year. The Munster game hurt us quite a lot psychologically and I don't know if we thought it did at the time.

"It's very disappointing to be effectively out and have to play three games for very little. But the competition is still worth a lot in terms of experience for everybody and they're still intense games."

And the former Worcester back-row forward says he has put his red card against Leicester Tigers behind him.

"It's frustrating because I wasn't looking for a fight. I got dragged into it, then singled out. It was tough to take, and cost us on the day, but there's not much you can do about it now.

"I just try to get my mind-set right for next game."

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