Thursday, September 20, 2012

Robshaw: Foden loss could benefit others

Chris Robshaw believes the loss of key players could benefit England in the long term
Chris Robshaw is hoping the loss of Ben Foden for the QBE autumn internationals could actually have long term benefits for England's bid to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup on home soil.

Foden damaged ankle ligaments against Bath on Friday and England expect to be without the Northampton full-back for the Tests against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. England will also be without Leicester flanker Tom Croft while scrum-half Ben Youngs and prop Alex Corbisiero both face a race against time to be fit.

"Foden and Croft are both in the leadership group with responsibility in the squad, so of course they will be massive losses to the side," said Robshaw, the England captain. "But with that, it gives an opportunity to someone else to come in."

Alex Goode and Mike Brown both played at full-back against South Africa in the summer and will be battling for the England 15 jersey this autumn.

Robshaw added: "The likes of Mike Brown and Alex Goode are both playing very well at the moment and I'm sure there will be other players who will push their credentials as well.

"Unfortunately, injuries are something that happens in our sport and we have to be able to react and have faith in the players coming in, not just to do a good job but do a great job and put pressure on another player to get back in the side.

"That's what you want in the squad. If you look at New Zealand, if they have a couple of injuries they might go two players deep and still have world-class players in that position who come in and do a great job.

"That's where we want to be as a national side - to have two or three quality international players in every position, so that if someone has to come in, you know they're going to do an excellent job."

Robshaw feels England will be wiser for their summer experience in South Africa, when they lost the first two Tests but bounced back to draw the third. While far from the finished article, England must retain fourth place in the world rankings through the autumn in order to claim a vital top seeding for the 2015 World Cup.

"We've been to South Africa now and we've been to various countries in Europe as well, learning and taking little points out of those games," Robshaw said. "There have been a lot of positives we can take from our performances, but also weaknesses which we have to eradicate."

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