Harlequins director Conor O'Shea has labelled speculation regarding England captain Chris Robshaw's Test future as “insulting.”
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea threw his weight behind England captain Chris Robshaw on Saturday following what he labelled “insulting” speculation regarding the flanker's Test future.
The decision to relieve Robshaw of the Quins captaincy, so he can concentrate on his international duties ahead of next year's World Cup in England was slammed earlier in the week by 2003 World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward.
Woodward, in his Daily Mail column, warned the move could leave Robshaw a “lesser player as well as a diminished leader”.
“Do that and his position will quickly come under threat because England do not lack for back-row options,” Woodward added.
Robshaw's position in the England set-up had been the subject of fresh debate after he was outplayed by Saracens' Will Fraser in last weekend's 39-0 defeat.
But the 28-year-old responded with a fine display, including a try, as Harlequins beat Wasps 26-23 in the Premiership on Saturday.
Afterwards an angry O'Shea turned on Robshaw's detractors.
“The criticism was absolutely ridiculous and I spoke to Chris about it,” said O'Shea.
“If there's an agenda against a player who is as outstanding as he is, it's sad. Absolutely sad.
“He's been outstanding for England and outstanding for Quins. He is an absolutely magnificent rugby player and any team would be lesser without him.
“I find some of the stuff that's out there insulting,” the former Ireland full-back added.
“Last week we were beaten 39-0, but Robshaw was outstanding.”