McNamara considers his options

England coach Steve McNamara says he remains spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a captain to succeed Jamie Peacock despite losing two obvious candidates ahead of the autumn internationals.

McNamara will announce his new skipper during the squad's high-altitude training camp in South Africa, but has been forced to rule front-rowers Sam Burgess and James Graham out of contention because of injury and suspension.

Burgess, who is to undergo knee surgery, is a co-captain of South Sydney, while Graham, who is serving a 12-match ban for biting, led England in the 2010 Four Nations Series in Australia and New Zealand in the absence through injury of Peacock and Adrian Morley.

"They are both strong leaders and very influential members of our squad," McNamara said at a media day at South Leeds Stadium.

"But we've still got plenty of strong candidates.

"We'll get together when we hit South Africa and when we address the group we'll announce it at that stage."

St Helens forward Jon Wilkin stood in as captain for England's second game against the Exiles in the summer following Peacock's sudden resignation, but he is among a number of high-profile absentees which include his team-mate and Saints vice-captain James Roby.

However, McNamara has a trio of club captains in Kevin Sinfield (Leeds), Morley (Warrington) and Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan) from which to select his new man, while Gareth Ellis, who is now back in Super League with Hull, and Wigan's Sam Tomkins are also sure to come into consideration.

"It's plain to see we do have some leaders in our game and most of them have been involved in the play-off series," McNamara added.