Chris Robshaw: England captain on crucial pre-World Cup season

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live
Chris Robshaw
Robshaw has won 28 caps for England, 27 of them as captain

England captain Chris Robshaw is gearing up for a "massive" season, which culminates in the World Cup on home soil next September.

Robshaw, 28, is now back in pre-season training with his club Harlequins, following England's challenging tour of New Zealand earlier in the summer.

The flanker told BBC Sport: "It's finally got to that season, hasn't it?

"It's a massive season, and everyone wants to be playing well and in that starting team."

Robshaw and the other England players had four weeks off after the series defeat by the All Blacks, and the Surrey-born back-rower has mixed feelings following the 3-0 whitewash.

"International rugby is all about results, and that third Test left a sour taste, but we can take a huge amount of positives," he said.

"We gave it a good shot and came pretty close.

"We wanted to go down there and leave a bit of a mark, and I think that's what happened."

Robshaw relishing 2015 atmosphere
"The last few years Twickenham has been rocking, and that's only going to get bigger and bigger the closer to the World Cup you get. A home World Cup is going to be huge."

An enlarged England squad of around 50 players will meet for a short camp on Sunday, and then will gather again in October before a rematch with the All Blacks at Twickenham on 8 November.

England also face South Africa, Samoa and Australia during the month, but Robshaw admits the players are aware of the bigger picture.

"I think we all know when it [the World Cup] is, and what's going to go on," he said.

"It is something that has been spoken about for the last three or four years, and every time you go anywhere you get asked about it."

However, with England head coach Stuart Lancaster determined to pick his squad for the autumn internationals on form, Robshaw is wary of looking too far ahead and insists that club matters are the current priority, with the new season starting in less than five weeks.

Chris Robshaw
Robshaw's Harlequins were beaten in the Premiership semi-finals by Saracens last season

"Guys are very much focused on their clubs at the moment, and it's about developing club form in the Premiership and the Champions Cup," he explained.

"You want to be playing well and taking momentum into the internationals, and when we get to the end of October, attention will change."

The London Olympics in 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have both encouraged a swell of patriotic support from the British public, and Robshaw hopes this will continue through to the 2015 World Cup.

"A lot of guys have been to the Olympics and seen the buzz that creates, and having such a major sporting event in the country is fantastic," he added.

"The last few years Twickenham has been rocking, and that's only going to get bigger and bigger the closer to the World Cup you get.

"A home World Cup is going to be huge and the place is going to be absolutely buzzing."

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