It’s been almost a year since Chris Robshaw lost the England captaincy to Dylan Hartley – but World Cup winner Lewis Moody insists the Harlequins man continues to prove his doubters wrong.
Saturday saw Robshaw named as man-of-the-match as England beat Argentina 27-14 in an ill-tempered affair at Twickenham.
It marks the 30-year-old coming full circle as it was a little over a year ago that he, along with his team-mates, were booed off the Twickenham pitch as England limped out of the World Cup following defeat to Australia.
Since that time Robshaw’s importance to England looked to be waning as new coach Eddie Jones installed hooker Hartley as captain while he continually ushers in fresh faces.
But Saturday’s performance saw Robshaw once again prove his worth in a Red Rose jersey as he has now started 11 of 12 games under Jones – sitting out the one-off match against Wales ahead of the summer Tests.
And Moody – a former England captain himself who tasted World Cup glory in 2003 – is delighted Robshaw is still silencing his critics.
“The fact he’s been able to stay injury free has been amazing, with such a difficult position to play so many consistent games has been great,” said Moody, speaking on behalf of Land Rover, who continues to support grassroots rugby through the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup; a series of national rugby festivals for youngsters that have been running for nearly a decade.
“This isn’t disrespectful to Chris but when I played amongst him when he was a much younger man, I never thought much of him.
“I didn’t think he would really make it at international level but sometimes life is about taking opportunities given to you.
“He’s not necessarily the most talented player and wouldn’t say there is one area of the game that stands him above anyone else about but he’s prepared to work tirelessly hard to prove his worth in that side and does that game in, game out.
“Some players like that are invaluable, that galvanise the side and make sure the side does whatever it takes to win.
“It’s not to be disrespectful in the slightest. It’s also to prove how far you can develop. Maybe you’re not right in your early 20s; it doesn’t mean you’re not right it just means you have to take the most of the right opportunity.
“Hats off to Chris, he’s been one of the most consistent and it’s a joy to see him paying like that.”
England’s victory over Argentina means Jones has led his team to wins in all three of their November Tests – having also seen off South Africa and Fiji at Rugby HQ.
They now turn their attentions to Australia this Saturday as they eye up the clean sweep and a 14th-straight victory – with Moody excited about what the future holds for Jones’ England.
“This England team are very capable of going beyond what the class of 2003 did and further arguably,” he added.
“The important thing is if they can maintain the level form in the next three years it’ll take till the next World Cup.
“They’re playing great rugby and have great strength in depth. I like the way the manager goes about his business, he’s straight talking, he doesn’t mind throwing a few curveballs out there and say it’s a about winning.
“The decisions he makes aren’t about individual players but about the team winning. He makes bold changes and the big decisions are about winning and that’s what the fans and public want to see.”
Lewis Moody is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover is committed to championing grassroots rugby and is continuing its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign through the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal.
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