Joe Marler replaces Chris Robshaw as Harlequins captain

Joe Marler
Marler made his England debut in 2012 and has won 22 caps for his country

Harlequins have appointed England international Joe Marler as captain, with the prop forward taking over from national team skipper Chris Robshaw.

Marler, 24, came through the Quins academy and has made 105 appearances for the club since his debut in 2009.

Flanker Robshaw, 28, has captained Harlequins for the past four years.

Quins director of rugby Conor O'Shea said he wanted to relieve some of the pressure on Robshaw in the run-up to next year's Rugby World Cup.

"I have been speaking to Chris about the dual role of captaining both England and Harlequins for some time," O'Shea said.

"He has a massive year ahead of him. It will allow him to focus on being at his best for both club and country.

Chris Robshaw
Robshaw has made 28 appearances for England, 27 of them as captain

"We want him to be at his best for Harlequins, win trophies here and also lift the World Cup next year.

"To do so, we believe he needs to be fresh both mentally and physically, hence why we have made this decision now."

Eastbourne-born Marler, who made his England debut in 2012 and has won 22 caps, paid tribute to his predecessor.

"Chris led us through the most successful period we have had as a club," Marler said.

"It will be good to be able to take the pressure off him as he heads into a huge year with England.

"I'm really honoured to be asked to lead a special group like this and a great club."