Criticism ‘very difficult’ for Robshaw

Date published: October 3 2014

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It’s no secret that England’s Chris Robshaw receives arguably more criticism than any other Test captain in world rugby.

It’s no secret that England’s Chris Robshaw receives arguably more criticism than any other Test captain in world rugby.

Whether over his leadership or occupation of the number seven shirt, some people cannot accept Robshaw’s ability in either area and probably never will, blind to what he produces and how integral he is to England’s improvement since the 2011 Rugby World Cup farce.

Even for Robshaw sometimes the amount of negative feedback is too much.

“I have had it for quite a while now. As a professional, you should be able to ignore it but it becomes very difficult,” Robshaw told the Independent.

“It is a team sport but people want to make it about individuals. All I can do is crack on.”

Robshaw made way for Joe Marler to captain Harlequins this season in order to take the pressure off himself ahead of next year’s tournament.

Yet while many other Test captains don’t also lead their clubs every week, Robshaw came in for more criticism.

“If you look at the international captains, Sam Warburton doesn’t captain his club, Paul O’Connell doesn’t captain his club, they concentrate on one or the other.”

The key for the 28-year-old is that the public do not always realise the logistics of Robshaw’s captaincy behind the scenes.

“People from the outside don’t quite see how a captain manages a team,” added Robshaw.

“I am surrounded by a group who drive the standard of training, the dressing room and the whole culture of the side. I oversee it but I let other people – the forwards, the backs, the pack leaders – drive the team forward.

“My way is to let other people do what they specialise in.”

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