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Robshaw backs strengh in depth of improving England

03 January 2014

  • “We have strength in depth from loosehead to full back” – Robshaw
  • England captain calls on team to win tight contests
Chris Robshaw in training

Photo: Getty Images

Chris Robshaw has played down the significance of England’s injury concerns and is wholly confident that strength in depth can see his side to a succesful RBS 6 Nations campaign.

Robshaw skippers Harlequins in tonight's Aviva Premiership clash against Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens that will showcase a number of England contenders, including Dylan Hartley, Tom Wood, Courtney Lawes and Lee Dickson, as well as Joe Marler and Mike Brown.

And though Stuart Lancaster will have to do without the likes of Manu Tuilagi, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Christian Wade and Marland Yarde, the England captain insisted the squad would be strong enough to mount a serious challenge for the Championship.

Indeed, while twin wins over Australia and Argentina before a hard-fought 30-22 defeat to New Zealand represented a decent series of autumn QBE Internationals, Robshaw also reinforced the importance of winning the closer matches.

“There’s been a lot spoken about injuries but you only need to look at our strength in depth from loosehead all the way down through the team to full back,” he said.

Chris Robshaw carries against France

Photo: Getty Images

“There are two or three players in every position who can come in and play well. That’s exactly what you want – people pushing each other and competition for places.”

“We want to really kick on as an England side. We’ve been in some good encounters and come second after being pipped. We’ve got a tough fixture to start away in France but they’re all tough.

“They’re the kind of places you want to go and test yourselves. The boys are looking forward to it.”

England’s schedule – a trip to the Stade de France before a visit to Murrayfield and home ties against Ireland and Wales – is rather unforgiving and means they will have to be on their mettle from the very first kick-off.

However, Robshaw insisted that he would want nothing else in such a pivotal competition on the road to Rugby World Cup 2015.

He added: “We’ve shown signs that we’re going in the right direction but there are still things we want to tinker with. We are improving every time we meet up and that is the important thing.

“Stuart has been very open as to what our goal is and that is to go and hopefully win a World Cup in 2015. Every tournament we are improving, and hopefully we can do that again in the Six Nations.”