McLean's first match as captain will be on 6 February
Darlington Mowden Park Sharks fly-half Katy McLean has been named as the new captain of the England Women's rugby union team.
The 25-year-old has taken over from Catherine Spencer who stepped down last week after three seasons in the role.
"There are so many natural leaders in our squad that it makes it even harder to believe they asked me," said McLean.
McLean, vice-captain in 2009 and 2010, recently stepped up to skipper England during the Women's Rugby World Cup.
The Gateshead-based player, who has won 38 caps, paid tribute to Spencer.
"I have been lucky to captain England a couple of times so I have the experience, but even so it is a massive difference from being vice-captain," she added.
"Catherine did an amazing job, it was an honour to be her vice, and I am sure I will be seeking her advice throughout the season."
England's next match will be their Six Nations opener against Wales at Bridgend on 6 February.
England's 2011 RBS Six Nations fixtures:
6 Feb: Wales v England (Cross Keys RFC) 1430
12 Feb: England v Italy (Esher RFC) 1630
27 Feb: England v France (Worcester RFC) 1305
13 Mar: England v Scotland (Twickenham Stadium, after men's Six Nations match) 1715
18 Mar: Ireland v England (Ashbourne RFC) 1930