Six Nations

Robshaw relishing Grand Slam bid after RWC hurt

Chris Robshaw (AFP)
Chris Robshaw (AFP)

London - Former captain Chris Robshaw has urged already-crowned Six Nations champions England to "finish the job properly" by completing a Grand Slam against France in Paris on Saturday.

Victory over Wales at Twickenham last weekend, allied to Scotland's defeat of France, gave England the title in their first season under Australian coach Eddie Jones after four successive runners-up finishes when Robshaw was skipper and former coach Stuart Lancaster in charge of the side.

But, welcome though that was, for Robshaw the true goal will have been achieved if England complete a first Six Nations clean sweep since their World Cup-winning year of 2003 -- when Jones was coach of losing finalists Australia.

"It feels pretty surreal at the moment in terms of getting the reward without playing the final game. We had a beer together and now it is all gung-ho to finish the job properly," Robshaw said Tuesday.

"We have been in this situation before where we have been in a strong position to win the Grand Slam, but in the history of English rugby only 12 teams have ever achieved that feat," the Harlequins back-row added.

"We talked about how these opportunities don't come around very often. I have been involved for four years. A lot of the guys have been trying to win a championship and no one has been part of a Grand Slam win.

"Now it's about making sure we are ready for the challenge in Paris and I'm sure the intensity in training will rise this week because we have to be ready for what is coming.

"We want to be part of that history and we know how tough it is going to be playing France in Paris."

Robshaw may have been stripped of the England captaincy by Jones following the hosts first-round exit at last year's World Cup that cost Lancaster his job

But although Jones installed hooker Dylan Hartley as England captain, he kept faith with Robshaw -- albeit switching hin to what he considered his more 'natural' position of blindside flanker from the openside.

The 29-year-old has started all four of England's Six Nations matches so far this season, with Jones labelling Robshaw a "colossus" for his performances during the Championship.

"It was a tough six months to deal with following the World Cup, but now I'm enjoying my rugby and it is always nice to hear things like that from the coach," Robshaw said.

"It is also great for my partner, my family, friends, team-mates, coaches here and at Harlequins -- they are all hugely important and helped me get back to being out there and enjoying it again," the 47-times capped flanker added.

"Am I playing with a smile on my face now? We haven't finished the job yet and if we achieve what we want on Saturday there will be some big smiles."

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