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Relentless Robshaw on his England ambitions

09 December 2011

  • Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw on his England ambitions
  • “I’ve just got to keep playing well for Quins”, says flanker
Harlequins captain and flanker Chris Robshaw

Photo: Getty Images

Chris Robshaw’s appetite for work and relentless intensity has been a notable feature of Harlequins’ 14 successive wins this season and the Twickenham Stoop skipper is hoping his consistent good form will be noticed by the England management.

Stuart Lancaster, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell were announced yesterday as England’s new coaching axis for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations and at their opening media session hinted at a freshening of the EPS squad with new talent.

And Robshaw, who was part of England’s preliminary Rugby World Cup training squad this summer, is one of those being tipped by pundits and ex-players for an international call-up.

He said: "Of course I’d love the opportunity to play for England and it is flattering whenever anyone says those kinds of comments about you but you have to just take it in your stride.

"The guys at Harlequins are very good at keeping me in my place if my head gets a bit big. But it’s all about here at Quins at the moment, focussing on our next couple of games. Whatever happens with England that is two months away so there’s no point in focusing on that.

"All my attention is with Harlequins at the moment and we’ll see what happens in the future."

Robshaw, who is preparing for a rip-roaring Heineken Cup clash with French giants Toulouse at the Twickenham Stoop this evening, was one of the unlucky 15 cut from Martin Johnson's squad earlier this year.

While admitting to the obvious pain of that "tap on the shoulder", Robshaw said it has steeled his resolve to work even harder this season.

Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw in action at England's Rugby World Cup preliminary training camp

Photo: Getty Images

"I was in the training squad for the world cup and to not go is always very frustrating," he said.

"As a player you always want to be there and I was one of the 15 guys who got that phone call or that tap on the shoulder from Johno saying 'you’re not going unfortunately'. It’s pretty hard to take and you go through some dark moments

"But coming back to Harlequins the guys have been superb, they’ve allowed me to get straight back into it and hopefully we can move forward and take my game, and everyone else at the club, up a level."

Ten straight Aviva Premiership wins stand as testament to that and Robshaw went on to discuss his attitude to his famed physical fitness, evident when Harlequins withstood a late Wasps barrage to secure a 22-16 win last time out.

In fact, during commentary on the game former England flanker Tom Rees, a man who knows a bit about work rate on the rugby field, described Robshaw as the fittest player he has ever seen.

Robshaw added that to play rugby the way he wants to, he must be very fit but says it is just down to old-fashioned hard work.

"It’s one of those things where you have to work very hard and I’ve always done that on my fitness.

"You have to be at a great level of fitness to play this game and it’s about just making sure when you get into that 60/70 minute period you can still make an impact and I think that’s the most important thing.

"Throughout the whole game I want to be fit enough to still affect the game and try and do my bit."