Robshaw roars back after WC snub
Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw may have sulked and turned to junk food for comfort after being omitted from England's World Cup squad - but his response could not have been more emphatic.
Robshaw has led Harlequins to the top of the Aviva Premiership with 10 straight league wins and, on Sunday, to an historic victory over four-time European champions Toulouse in the Heineken Cup. The 25-year-old now seems certain to receive his England call-up for the RBS 6 Nations and add to the solitary cap he won against Argentina in 2009.
"It was very frustrating. You have your dark moments and your sulks. When I sulk I keep myself to myself, eat a lot of junk food and don't really do too much," admitted Robshaw. "I would have loved to go to New Zealand. It shows people care when they show their emotion. But you have to get back on the horse."
He continued: "All the guys here (at Harlequins) gave me stick for missing pre-season with them. They got me straight back into it and we had the best response possible, going 10 games unbeaten in the league."
Harlequins' victory in Toulouse, which kept their Heineken Cup campaign alive, came just nine days after they had been taught a brutal lesson at home by the French giants.
"It was incredible. It was a very proud day for myself. Everyone did their part and that is what made the whole team function," Robshaw said.
The home defeat to Toulouse was Harlequins' first defeat in competition this season. Toulouse boast a budget around four times that available to director of rugby Conor O'Shea, who said after the win in France: "It was the size of the heart against the size of the wallet - and the heart won."
Harlequins field more English players than any other Premiership team and that, O'Shea believes, is the key to their current success.
"It is important you grow together," said O'Shea, who could potentially see Robshaw, Mike Brown, Ugo Monye, Joe Marler, Danny Care, Nick Easter, Joe Gray and George Robson all called up for Six Nations duty.
"History shows teams that are predominantly home-based, especially when we don't have the budget of others, have more of a heart and will to play for one another. That can sometimes be better than to spend on galacticos."