World Cup debacle will stay with Robshaw

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:51
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Chris Robshaw says the trauma of the 2015 World Cup which saw him stripped of the captaincy after hosts England exited in the pool stage is a scar that will never heal.

The 30-year-old 55-times capped loose forward was heavily criticised for his captaincy at the World Cup.

He was much scrutinised over his decision to kick to touch when a penalty was awarded in the dying minutes of the defeat to Wales instead of taking the option of a kickable penalty for Owen Farrell.

A successful kick would have earned them a draw and ultimately a place in the last eight. Wales went on to win 28-25.

"I loved captaining England and I was extremely proud of all the guys and what we did," Robshaw told the Mail on Sunday.

"Of course I wasn't proud of how it finished with the World Cup. It was a tough situation and it will stay with me.

"It's a scar I will wear." 

Robshaw - who made an impressive return to his club Harlequins Premiership campaign on Saturday after missing the Six Nations because of injury - said his road to redemption had been helped, ironically, by one of his fiercest critics at the World Cup, Eddie Jones.

"Initially the difficult thing was not really knowing where I stood with Eddie," said Robshaw.

"He came in [Jones replaced Stuart Lancaster after impressing as Japan coach at the World Cu]) and we had a good chat and he told me what he needed me to do to be in his side and if I could do it I'd be in his side.

"When Eddie came in I didn't know whether I'd ever play again. Who knew? But Eddie is a very honest guy and he lets you know where you stand. As soon as we had that chat I had a bit more confidence.

"Just before we played Scotland last year he said, 'You've done enough, we're pleased with you and we're giving you the opportunity'.
"Luckily I managed to take that and stay in there."

Robshaw, whose performances were so good that Jones revealed his name was 'the first on his team sheet', would dearly love to be selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in June, but accepts missing the Six Nations could thwart his hopes.

"Of course I hope to make the Lions like everyone else. I've got to go about my business as well as I can, have a bit of luck and hope the coaches pick me," said Robshaw, who missed out on selection four years ago.

"It's a massive thing to be part of that. Speak to [Harlequins teammate] Jamie Roberts and guys who have done it and they speak about how special it is," added Robshaw. 

Agence France-Presse