Robshaw determined to raise the bar
September 19, 2012
Rob Vickerman, Katy McLean, Chris Robshaw and Michaela Staniford stand in the new England kits © Getty Images
England captain Chris Robshaw has vowed to kick on from his heroics last season and produce another stand-out campaign.
The 26-year-old was in a class of his own for much of last season and his dazzling run of form was not only rewarded with the England captaincy but also the Aviva Premiership title with Harlequins. His inspirational efforts on the domestic stage also saw him named the Premiership's Player of the Year but he is refusing to dwell on his achievements with the new season providing a new challenge that he is relishing.
"You do not want to be known for last season," he said at the launch of England's latest kit. "You want to push on and do it even better this season and the next season. That is an on-going process with the coaches and hopefully I am developing."
His quest for an extra edge is not confined to the Premiership stage with Robshaw hailing the technology behind England's new playing strip - the first produced under a lucrative deal with manufacturers Canterbury reportedly worth £20m to the Rugby Football Union.
Asked if the shirt on his back made a significant difference in terms of performance, Roobshaw said: "If you compare it to shirts from not long ago I think it does make a difference. In the early stages of my career the shirts were heavy and baggy and if someone like [England fullback] Mike Brown has a baggy shirt on then I am sure he gets taken down a bit more.
"They talk about percentages a lot in cycling and we saw at the Olympics with Dave Brailsford [Performance Director for British Cycling] speaking about the percentages here and there," he explained, "and if you add all that up it makes a big difference even if it is a split second. Those tiny little things make the big picture better."
Robshaw and Quins have begun this season where they left off in May with the Premiership pace-setters notching three bonus point victories in the start of their title defence and the side as a whole shares their skipper's desire to raise the bar. "I think as a team you want to improve you never want to just be the same team," he explained.
"Every year you go out there and work on things to make you a better team. We look at our performances and there are areas in our attack, defence, our discipline a number of things that can always be addressed.
"Results-wise it has been a brilliant start with five points from every game so far but we feel we haven't hit the ground running yet," he added. "It's a great place to be at the moment with everyone working hard for each other but people are coming after us and it is a very different situation from last year."
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Graham Jenkins is the Senior Editor of ESPNscrum and you can also follow him on Twitter.