As far as Harlequins legends go, you would struggle to look past Chris Robshaw for the number one spot.
The former England captain, who won 66 caps for his country, is finishing off his career at the Twickenham-based club today at Welford Road after a phenomenal 17-year stint with Quins.
Today’s game against Leicester marks his 300th appearance, something only one other Harlequin has achieved, one of Robshaw’s close friends, Mike Brown.
Robshaw said: “It’s not something I ever thought about achieving when I first started at Harlequins, but now I’ve got close it feels like an incredible milestone to represent a club as many times as I have.
“It might not mean much to other people but it makes me feel quite proud.”
Fittingly, the 34-year-old’s final game for Harlequins is against Leicester, the team that Harlequins defeated in the 2012 Premiership Final to secure their only Premiership win of Robshaw’s career.
Robshaw was captain that day and remembers it fondly.
He said: “I didn’t actually think about that, that is nice. It’s a nice reminder, hopefully we can win and finish with a win but yeah that is quite a nice way of looking at it.
“That whole experience was incredible, we went over to Abu Dhabi the week before and it was so hot we couldn’t train past 10am so we went on boat trips, we were playing golf and having barbeques, it was just great fun.
“Then there was the walk across, the thousands of people lining the streets from the Stoop to Twickenham and cheering us, you could spot everyone’s friends and family as you went in.”
Harlequins won the match 30-23, with Robshaw scoring a decisive try that proved to be the difference and subsequently earning him the man of the match award.
“Obviously the game was incredible, our record against Leicester was terrible, I think we won 5 or 10% of our games against them, so we knew we had to do something special.”
It was during that same season that Robshaw became England captain, despite only having one cap to his name, as Stuart Lancaster became interim head coach. Robshaw would go on to captain his country 43 times, the most in the professional era.
Robshaw leaves Harlequins not to retire but to begin an exciting new chapter in the Major League Rugby where he will join the San Diego Legion.
“It’s going to be a very different experience for me who’s only known London and Harlequins. I’ve always wanted to live abroad and try something different and this seemed like a really good fit in terms of the rugby, the lifestyle and it’s English speaking.
“Also, I’m 34 and this season I’ve played 30 games, next season I’ll play a maximum of 16 games, so it’s little things like this that came into consideration.”
Off the field Robshaw will also enjoy a big change from his life in London.
He explained that they’ll do recovery training on the beach and swim in the sea instead of usual ice baths.
Robshaw added: “Darren, one of the owners, owns a surf company and he’s told me he’s made me a surf-board, so I’ve got to try and get on that at some point, I’m a little scared of the sharks though!”
Robshaw is due to leave for San Diego in January, meaning he has a couple of months of well-deserved rest after 17 years of giving his all for club and country.
Credit: Harlequins Rugby