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Chris Robshaw vows to play key England role

Published 31/01/2016

Former captain Chris Robshaw wants to remain a big influence on England
Former captain Chris Robshaw wants to remain a big influence on England

Chris Robshaw is ready to begin a "new chapter" in an England career that has been scarred by frustration.

Robshaw was the automatic pick as captain throughout Stuart Lancaster's regime but has been relieved of the post after Dylan Hartley was chosen by head coach Eddie Jones to lead the Red Rose during the RBS 6 Nations.

The 29-year-old has been viewed as one of the architects of the failure to advance from the group stage of last autumn's home World Cup and with him at the helm England finished runners-up in the Six Nations four times.

He is a part of Jones' plans, however, after the Australian challenged him to emerge from the next two months as Europe's most accomplished blindside flanker.

Despite the criticism Robshaw has faced, his appetite for international rugby is undiminished.

"It's a new chapter. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to go out there and right some wrongs," Robshaw said.

"Hopefully I can perform and repay that trust in me that Eddie has shown so far. It was difficult coming back from the World Cup but I need to go out there and hopefully achieve again.

"We all have setbacks in sport and in life and a lot of people in our game have gone on after them to be extremely successful.

"You go through tough times every now and again - it is about how you respond. It is about the character of the individual. I think you see what you are about.

"I always wanted to come back here. I always wanted a chance to go out and win stuff because we haven't really won anything. We've won some big games but you want to pick up silverware.

"As a person and a player you go through tough times and that was pretty tough but as a kid I wanted to play rugby and I wanted to play for my country through the good and the bad times.

"Of course you don't fully understand what comes with it at stages but I'll always want to be out there and be part of it."

Jones outlined his plans for England's future to Robshaw in a meeting at the back row's coffee shop in Winchester.

"I think his daughter went to Winchester University, so he'd actually been there before, which was nice," Robshaw said.

"He's a good guy and he was honest with me and I think that is what you want from a head coach.

"You want to have that honesty and know where you stand if you want to get into the team or what you are doing wrong at the time. He has been pretty honest with me so far.

"I fully understand the reasons for the captaincy change and respect Eddie for his choice and will support Dylan as well as possible.

"For me now it is about being part of the team, doing my bit for the team whatever that may be and supporting Dylan.

"It is interesting to look back over the past four years. I'm extremely proud that I've had the opportunity to captain England.

"Of course it didn't always go our way and there were a couple of mistakes along the way.

"I'm not proud of how the World Cup turned out but I'm extremely proud to have captained this country."

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