‘Really strange’: Robshaw picks England as one of three World Cup frontrunners
With the opening round of the World Cup in the books, Robshaw has highlighted France, England and South Africa as the three teams to beat.
France beat the All Blacks on Friday, with sharpshooter Thomas Ramos practically kicking the hosts to an important win.
Then, on the final day of the first round, the world champion Springboks kicked off their quest for a second-consecutive title with a clinical 18-3 win over Scotland.
“The best thing about the first weekend is there were some big games whereas normally you wait one or two weeks to get into it,” Robshaw said on The Platform.
“Credit to France, they played (New Zealand) first up. I think that was a real show of intent to say, ‘You know what, we want to play the big boys and hit the ground running.’
“I think their performances, especially after New Zealand scored after a minute and a half… their ability to control the ball and come back, that was brilliant.
“England looked really dominant considering their four warm-up games, and I’m not sure if you guys have followed much of them but we’ve only one out of four warm-up games.
“Went up against an Argentinian side that has been a good side in recent times and made them look terrible in all honest.
“Didn’t score a try which is, I think we still need to work on, but to win that comfortably with 14 men as well.
“Then you look at South Africa. To beat Scotland pretty comfortably and in that pool where everyone said that was going to be a three-way thing, they kind of put Scotland back in their place.
“France, South Africa and England as the big sides really stepping up.”
The All Blacks lost their first-ever Rugby World Cup pool match last week as they fell to a disastrous 27-13 defeat to France.
This time last month, New Zealand was shaping up as the bookmakers’ favourites to hoist the Webb Ellis Cup following a sensational Rugby Championship campaign.
With coach Ian Foster at the helm, New Zealand surged to their fourth consecutive TRC crown following big wins over Argentina, South Africa and Australia.
But their form and World Cup prospects took a turn for the worst last month as they fell to a record defeat against the world champion Boks at Twickenham.
“I’m not surprised,” Robshaw added.
“It’s a really strange one because you guys, from our point of view in the northern hemisphere, didn’t have the best year last year and all of a sudden you win The Rugby Championship and everyone’s thinking, ‘These guys are back.’
“Then Twickenham, what seemed like South Africa’s second home… to have the biggest defeat and then go to France… I didn’t realise you lost your first World Cup pool game ever.
“You guys are going to sail out the rest of that pool, get into a quarterfinal and yes you’ll have to play probably a South Africa now which is tough in itself.”
Join free and tell us what you really think!Join Free