'I just broke down in tears' - Chris Robshaw's biggest England career regret... and it still hurts
Robshaw joined Christina Mahon and his former Harlequins teammate Jamie Roberts on RugbyPass Offload this week, and was asked what would be the one thing he would have done differently over his 43 caps as England captain.
Roberts quickly joked “go for posts,” referring to the 2015 World Cup pool stage encounter at Twickenham, where Robshaw opted to go for the corner with two minutes remaining when England were trailing 28-25. England were driven into touch from the ensuing lineout, leading to a historic win for Roberts’ Wales and England crashing out of the tournament in the pool stages.
Robshaw agreed, and discussed the fallout from that decision on a personal level.
“Unfortunately, hindsight is a wonderful thing,” the San Diego Legion flanker said.
“Do we go back to that decision and go for posts? Do we give ourselves the opportunity to get the three? Would we have got it, who knows? But you potentially look at that opportunity and you try that.
“I think that would be the one thing that I always look back on my England career and definitely would try and change. Because you don’t know those butterfly moments and hopefully that would have a big effect on the game and the result of the World Cup and who knows where we’d be now.
“That was definitely a big decision. I’ve moved a long way since but that World Cup is a scar I will always wear. Whenever we speak about it, whenever people talk about it, it’s always a tough time for me, a tough time for a lot of those players.
“I remember actually when we played Wales in the first game post World Cup, back at Twickenham, and as you can imagine there was a huge amount of speculation about that game. “Is it a revenge mission?”
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“What about the World Cup?” We won the game, and only just won the game in the end, and we were doing a lap of honour and I just broke down in tears. I just had to get in the changing room, I just had to get back in. I just couldn’t control myself.
“All these emotions came out of me and so many of the guys came up to me and said “look, we didn’t realise how much it affected you and how much of a burden and a toll it took on you.” And me, personally, I didn’t share well enough. I was going through the motions at my club, put a huge amount of strain on my wife, my friends, my family, my teammates probably and it was definitely a massively tough period for me.”
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