Rugby Union

Chris Robshaw replaced as Harlequins captain

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Chris Robshaw has held the Harlequins captaincy for four years, but with the Rugby World Cup fast approaching he has stepped down from the role.

Joe Marler will take over as captain for next season, and the prop has been at Harlequins since 2008 and has made 67 appearances for Connor O'Shea's men.

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O'Shea's view

But, according to the official Aviva Premiership website, the Quins' director of rugby believes this is the right move to take some of the pressure off Robshaw, the England captain, heading into an important 12 months.

"I have been speaking to him about the dual role of captaining both England and Harlequins for some time. He has a massive year ahead of him and I feel that we should relieve him of some of the pressure, which will allow him to focus on being at his best for both club and country," he said.

Robshaw has decided to put his country first, and it is a decision that could help his future career and the mentality of his fellow international teammates.

The 2015 World Cup is likely to be one of the greatest moments of his career and the captaincy of Harlequins shouldn't be settled in the back of his mind, especially during the Six Nations in February and March.

This really puts into perspective the mind-set of the 28-year-old, and will allow him to put greater focus on securing success with England. They will face a tough challenge trying to de-throne reigning champions New Zealand on home soil next year.

Joe Marler

Now Joe Marler is the captain at Harlequins, the 24-year-old has something to prove to all the critics, and will aim to give a solid season which may instigate a trophy by the end of the campaign.

There is no doubt that Marler has the backing of O'Shea, as the Irishman firmly believes the role couldn't have been passed on to a better player.

"I am delighted that Joe has agreed to take over the captaincy from Chris. He is a massively influential player and person within the group and will bring his own personality and style to the role, with the full backing of the entire squad and management," he said.

The tough tackling prop also commented on the role and cannot wait to lead the London club out for the new season.

"I'm really honoured to be asked to lead a special group like this and a great club, and I can't wait to get stuck in!"

The only criticism lying here is whether the 24-year-old can deal with the pressure of being captain. Marler is a prop and leads the front-line for his team, but he needs to be motivational and command respect, especially in the games where Harlequins are the underdog.


Considering they won the LV Cup in 2013, Quins haven't really made a lasting impression on their silverware cabinet, having only won one Aviva Premiership title back in 2012.

But heading into the new season, O'Shea has promoted five players from Harlequins' academy whilst also bringing in Marland Yarde from London Irish, and Asaeli Tikoirotuma from the Chiefs in New Zealand.

Despite the decision of Robshaw, success at club level is key and Quins need to develop a stronger reputation as one of the best teams in Europe.

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IRB Rugby World Cup
Aviva Premiership
England Rugby
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