Chris Robshaw will be named on Wednesday as England captain for the QBE autumn series of Tests at Twickenham beginning with the match against Australia on November 2.
The Harlequins flanker has fought off the challenge of Northampton back-row forward Tom Wood, who led the side in Robshaw's absence in Argentina in June.
Robshaw came in for criticism in the wake of England's humiliating defeat against Wales in the final match of the 2013 Six Nations championship and was subjected to more public scrutiny after his subsequent omission from the British and Irish Lions squad to tour Australia.
However, England head coach Stuart Lancaster has stayed true to the man he appointed as captain when he first took over the reins almost two years ago. Robshaw, 27, has been at the helm in all bar three Tests since then, injury ruling him out of the third Test in South Africa in 2012 and Lancaster deciding to rest him for the trip to Argentina.
That break has -rejuvenated Robshaw, who has battled through a bumpy opening to the season for his club. Robshaw's style of captaincy has never really been the issue, although he did draw critical flak for kicking at goal in the closing stages of the match against South Africa at Twickenham last year.
What has been at stake is his place in the starting XV. Lancaster stressed last week that he would pick his best line-up first and only then decide on his captain. -Robshaw has come under pressure because he is not perceived to be an out-and-out openside flanker. The specialist in that position is the other No 7 in the squad, Gloucester's Matt Kvesic who made his debut in Argentina and went on to acquit himself well in both Tests.
However, with Gloucester having a stuttering start to the season Kvesic has not been able to show the short of commanding form that would lead to a change in the back-row formation, and has been released back to his club.
With Lancaster expected to hand a first start to Saracens' No 8 Billy Vunipola, the thought of taking on high-powered southern hemisphere opposition with a rookie combination would be considered a risk.
Robshaw has been advised to work on his speed. His pace over the top of the ground is not his greatest asset yet he does have tremendous presence at the breakdown. Robshaw regularly tops the statistical returns for tackles, carries and interventions.
England have released 10 players back to their clubs for Aviva Premiership action this weekend. The 34-man squad have been in camp in Leeds since Monday, with the rest remaining until Friday.
The most surprising of those deemed surplus to immediate requirement is Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care, for so long considered either as understudy or on equal footing with Ben Youngs. Instead, Northampton's Lee Dickson is rewarded for a superb run of form for his club.
Even though Harlequins have faltered this season, Care has been in decent shape, often the trigger point for their good spells. He knows that he will need to be on his mettle on Saturday against Sale if he is to force his way back into the reckoning.
The others going back to their clubs are: Dave Attwood, Freddie Burns, Luther Burrell, Kyle Eastmond, Ben Foden, Alex Goode, Tom Johnson and Christian Wade. Lancaster insisted that he had not yet made his mind as to his team to face the Wallabies.
"There are still places to play for. We won't finalise the side to play Australia until much closer to the game, not least because of the matches this coming weekend so it is a chance for those going back to stake a final claim for inclusion in the 23."
It would appear that Toby Flood is ahead of Burns in the fly-half -reckoning with Joel Tomkins and Henry Trinder to contest the outside centre berth. Mike Brown, Chris Ashton and Marland Yarde would be the favoured back three. Bath lock Dave Attwood has a chance to push for consideration with a forceful display in the west-country derby against his old club, Gloucester, at the Rec on Friday.
England congregate at their normal Surrey base on Sunday ahead of the match against the Wallabies, who beat them last season at Twickenham despite being in a similarly downbeat state. Given that Australia are in -England's 2015 Rugby World Cup pool, Lancaster will be intent on -laying down a marker in 10 days' time.
England also play Argentina and New Zealand this autumn, with the Pumas having to find a new coach after parting company with Santiago Phelan.