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England must not dwell on World Cup ahead of Twickenham return - Chris Robshaw

Published 21/02/2016

Chris Robshaw says the 2015 World Cup will always be a big part of him
Chris Robshaw says the 2015 World Cup will always be a big part of him

Chris Robshaw has urged England to dispel any lingering hangover from the World Cup when they revisit the setting for one of the darkest hours in the nation's rugby history.

Successive defeats to Wales and Australia consigned the hosts to a dismal group exit from the tournament after a mere 16 days.

The fallout led to the removal of Stuart Lancaster and the appointment of Eddie Jones, whose era has been launched with victories over Scotland and Italy in the opening two rounds of the RBS 6 Nations.

A tougher assignment awaits against Ireland on Saturday when England will return to Twickenham for the first time since collapsing to a record 33-13 defeat by Australia.

"Of course whenever you speak about the World Cup, it will always be a big part of you and you'll always remember what happened," Robshaw said.

"But in terms of playing for England, you go out there fresh every game. It's a new game, it's a new tournament and if you allow that World Cup to hang over you, it's going to affect you.

"It's always going to be a big part of what myself and the other players went through, but it's about moving forward - hopefully with a new way of playing."

Supporters could have done little more to inspire England at the global showpiece, roaring on their heroes in electric atmospheres rarely seen before at Twickenham.

Robshaw, who was replaced by Dylan Hartley as captain as a result of the World Cup, insists the fans' loyalty must be repaid on the pitch.

"We've had our moments and the way we've played over the last couple of years, we've had some fantastic results, but we've also had some bad ones," the 29-year-old said.

"The World Cup was pretty tough and went against us, but I don't think we've had a succession of bad games.

"We've generally played pretty well, pretty well again, then had a dip and then played well again.

"For us now, it's about building that consistency and rewarding the fans. If you look back even to last year in the Six Nations, we played pretty well, had a bad game against Ireland then finished phenomenally well against France.

"We've got to do that game on game and not having a dip. That's been the important part for us in the last two weeks - making sure we focus and keep building, so that we don't have any dips.

"I think the fans will be excited about seeing England back playing at Twickenham. It's a fantastic venue.

"The World Cup - I don't think we've ever experienced support and noise levels quite like it, from getting off the bus initially to going into the stadium, to running out for the national anthem, warming up and playing.

"People we speak to are so excited about this Six Nations, seeing England playing at Twickenham and going to watch games there.

"Hopefully we can build on our first two games and make sure our first display at Twickenham shows the crowd how we want to play."

Robshaw's place in the team was in jeopardy after Lancaster stepped down, but Jones has his retained the Harlequins flanker and given him a new role at blindside flanker.

"You always think when things haven't gone well in the past, how are you going to go out there and try to rectify that?" he said.

"That's just looking at it honestly, not knowing quite what to expect or what's going to happen. I'm hugely honoured to have that chance again."

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