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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 18:03 GMT
Corry backs new skipper Vickery
Martin Corry
Corry led England during their miserable 2006 season
Martin Corry said he was not surprised to lose the England captaincy but insisted he would throw his support firmly behind new man Phil Vickery.

Corry was skipper during England's poor 2006 Six Nations and woeful autumn series but was roundly praised for his conduct during a difficult time.

However, new coach Brian Ashton has still replaced him with Vickery.

"I wasn't overly surprised by it, especially with the position that England are in," admitted Corry.

"With Robbo [Andy Robinson] going and the comments made about the leadership in the autumn series, I think when Brian called me it wasn't the biggest shock.

The regret is I didn't get to captain England out of it

Martin Corry

"It pains me to say it, but England are in a very unsatisfactory position. Brian's come in and has to lay down his marker.

"In Phil Vickery you've got a great guy who oozes leadership, and Brian's gone for a credible, world-class player."

Leicester number eight Corry insisted he is proud of having been England captain, despite the circumstances during his tenure which began with the last two matches in the 2005 Six Nations.

"I'm not going to hide behind anything. I was part of an England team that was losing," he told BBC Radio Leicester. "Obviously, I wanted to continue to be captain because I felt we could turn it around.

"It was an unbelievable honour and a huge challenge. If someone says, 'You're England captain but you have to lead through this period, do you still want it?' - of course, definitely.

"The regret is I didn't get to captain England out of it."

There's a fine line between success and failure and with England we were just on the other side

Martin Corry

Corry, who will face a strong challenge to the number eight slot from the likes of Bristol's Dan Ward-Smith, said England's plight is not as bad as it may seem.

"As Vicks [Vickery] has already said, it's nothing major, it's just a lot of little things we've got to put right," he said.

"Now I just hope I can have a role behind Vicks in the team and put things right and get us back to winning ways.

"There's a fine line between success and failure and with England we were just on the other side. I don't think its going to take too much for us to cross it.

"We've shown we can dominate possession, so we can get our fair share of territory.

"Then it's just ironing out the little mistakes that allow the opposition into the game, and it's being more clinical when we get into the opposition 22 and actually coming away with points more often than not."



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