Planet Rugby

Robshaw braced for toughest season

13th August 2014 09:49

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Ready: Chris Robshaw

Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw is fully aware that the level of competition in the Premiership is stronger than ever.

The England captain has stepped aside at club level, with Joe Marler taking over in a big year for Robshaw as he focuses on building towards next year's Rugby World Cup on home soil.

The 28-year-old, who is closing in on 200 appearances for Quins, believes the club have a strong enough squad to be competing for honours.

"Everyone has recruited extremely well this summer and every season gets tougher and tougher. You can't relax more for one game than you can for another," Robshaw told the club website.

"Every game must have your complete and utter focus, and you can't really rest guys for any matches.

"You have to rely on good squads and that's what we've developed here as a club.

"As we found last year, it was tougher than the last three years and I'm sure this season will be even tougher."

Looking back on a 2013/2014 campaign where Harlequins snuck into the playoffs ahead of Bath, Robshaw admits the slow start cost his team dearly. A fast start in September's Double Header at Twickenham against London Irish is therefore essential.

"We dug ourselves out of a hole last season. We had a tough year with injuries and started a bit slow, so we left ourselves with a bit to do," added Robshaw.

"Every season you want to be in the top four and have a shot of getting silverware at the end of the season.

"The last six matches were must-win games, which were tough and quite exhausting, but the effort of the guys was outstanding to get ourselves [to the play-offs].

"Hopefully we can start the season a bit better this year, hit the ground running and get ourselves in a good position for the rest of the year.

"And what better place to start than at Twickenham in front of a big crowd. The players love it, hopefully the fans do too and hopefully we can come away with another opening day win."

Image credit: PPAUK

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