In his 42 matches as England captain, Chris Robshaw led the side to 25 wins before the leadership passed to Dylan Hartley for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship in which Chris started all five games and played a valuable role in the Grand Slam. He also played an important part in the 39-28 victory over Australia in the opening game in last June’s series at Brisbane and became man of the match in Melbourne after one of his finest displays in an England shirt. It was made even more memorable by Chris leading out the team when winning his 50th cap. He was among the stand-out players on the tour.
His high-quality displays continued last autumn. They were crowned by his Old Mutual Wealth Man of the Match award in a challenging game against Argentina that England won 27-14. Head coach Eddie Jones said: “He was a great workman out there.” But Chris was ruled out of the 2017 Six Nations by a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Chris had captained his country for the 40th time in the RWC match against Wales in September 2015 to overtake Martin Johnson’s England total. Only Will Carling (59 Tests) has been in charge in more games. Chris guided his side to four wins in five matches during the 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship while maintaining the highest level of personal performance. They included the sensational 21-16 win over Wales in Cardiff, followed by the fabulous 38-21 triumph over New Zealand at Twickenham in December 2012.
It was England’s biggest win in the fixture, exceeding the 13-point margin at Twickenham back in 1936, and ended the All Blacks’ unbeaten sequence of 20 matches. Chris went on to lead his team to a 38-18 Calcutta Cup victory over Scotland at Twickenham in February 2013.
He was the RBS Man of the Match eight days later in the 12-6 triumph in Dublin over Ireland when his inspirational captaincy and all-action display was complemented by the distinction of being top tackler in the game with 14. Chris was also man of the match in the subsequent 23-13 victory over France and he won similar kudos in the QBE International against Samoa at Twickenham in the autumn of 2014. Chris scored his maiden Test try against Australia at HQ in November 2013 and his second one when England beat Italy 52-11 in Rome the following March.
He won his first cap against Argentina at Salta in 2009 and captained England impressively in seven consecutive matches before a cracked right thumb ruled him out of the third and final Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in June 2012. He was the mainstay of the Harlequins pack seven seasons ago, appeared in all 22 league matches and was on the field the seventh highest number of minutes (1,606) of any player in the Premiership.
Chris also made 226 tackles, the competition's second highest in the season. His contribution helped Harlequins to second place in the table, their best finish up to that point. He has been called the “new Richard Hill” because as well as having a high work rate, he shows true class as a tackler, forager, ball carrier and link man. It was illustrated when his 23 tackles in the 13-10 win over Ireland at Twickenham in February 2014 was the most by any player on either side. Chris also topped the tackle and carriers count against Wales a fortnight later.
A key member of the England Saxons side that beat Scotland A 36-19 to lift the 2008 Barclays Churchill Cup, he began playing when seven at Warlingham RFC. He was educated at Cumnor House School, Surrey, became the captain of Harlequins for 2010-11 and led the club to an historic first Premiership title in 2011-12. He captained Harlequins for four seasons before Joe Marler took over in the autumn of 2014.
Ten years on from his Harlequins debut, he was awarded a testimonial year in 2016 with a series of events raising money for his chosen charities that are The Teenage Cancer Trust, Walking With The Wounded and Canine Partners.
Redhill-born Chris captained Millfield, where he was a contemporary of former Gloucester full back Olly Morgan and Anthony Allen, the former Leicester centre, and shared in a Grand Slam at U21 level.
After playing in the first three matches, a broken leg ended his tournament prematurely but he recovered to appear in the 2006 IRB U21 World Championship. He represented the national U18 side and went on to study for a degree in Business Management at Roehampton University.
He scored two tries on his Harlequins debut in the 42-3 win over Birmingham & Solihull at Twickenham Stoop in January 2006 and by mid-January this year he had advanced to 239 appearances, including 164 in the Premiership. Chris was rested for the 2013 summer tour of South America but led England in all three Test matches in New Zealand three years ago.
10 points - 2T
2009 Arg (2) 2012 S, It, W, F, I, SA (1,2,), Fj, A, SA, NZ 2013 S, I, F, It, W, A, Arg, NZ 2014 F, S, I, W, It, NZ (1,2,3), NZ, SA, Sam, A 2015 W, It, I, S, F, F, I World Cup - Fj, W, A, U 2016 S, It, I, W, F, A(1,2,3), SA, Fj(R), Arg, A
Last updated: 20 April 2017