- Skipper more than satisified with talented side to face Southern Barbarians
- As a forward, you look forward to the more hostile environments – Robson
Harlequins lock George Robson has expressed his joy at being appointed captain for England’s first midweek game against a Southern Barbarians XV on Wednesday afternoon (2.00pm BST) and is savouring the prospect of challenging himself in the “hostile environment” of South Africa’s Northern Cape.
26 year-old Robson, who played a prominent part in the capture of the Aviva Premiership trophy this season, also outlined the wealth of quality that will be on show at Kimberley’s GWK Park, with many of his teammates in the running for a Test place.
“It’s a massive honour [to be named captain] and something that I’m really proud of,” he said. “I’ve had lots of messages from people back home – my parents, my fiancée and some of the guys back at Quins, which has been pretty special.
“I’m pretty lucky with the leaders I have got around me in the team that we’ve got. The likes of Danny Care and James Haskell are experienced guys in key positions and will make my job a lot easier.”
Alongside Joe Gray, Care, Jordan Turner-Hall and replacement George Lowe, Robson is one of five Harlequins in the match-day 22, something that is a great source of pride and comfort.
“It’s great to be out here representing your country with guys that you have played with week-in week-out,” he added, before turning his attention to blend of the squad as a whole.
Photo: Getty Images
“As a group we have all bonded well and there is a great feeling going into the game. Hopefully we can get everything right on the pitch now.
“[The Southern Barbarians] are a bit of an unknown quantity but, if you are playing any team in South Africa, you have to give them respect because they will be physical and keen to take us on up front. That is something we have to relish – as a forward you want to test yourself in the most hostile environments.”
“We have some pretty exciting backs out there too, with Christian Wade, Stretts [David Strettle] Goodey [Alex Goode] at full-back. We have to make sure that we can get a platform for them.”
Having served an impressive apprenticeship in the Saxons set-up to go with his fine form in domestic rugby, Robson has been justly rewarded with a place on this trip and seemed to be enjoying his time with the senior side immensely.
“Everyone is working with each other in training to make sure that we are all as successful as possible,” he explained. “We’re a tight group we’re all working hard for each other.
“You’ll definitely see the guys who played in the Test cheering us on. There is a great team ethos and we are looking forward to it.”