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George Ford and JJ have given us a cutting edge – Chris Robshaw

Chris RobshawEngland captain Chris Robshaw has welcomed the introduction of George Ford and Jonathan Joseph into England’s backline saying the Bath duo add a new dimension to their attack.

For the past couple of years, England have proved they have the pack and the defence to compete with the best teams in the world but they often lacked a spark in attack to score more tries and win games more comfortably.

That has changed during the Six Nations, however, with the promotion of Ford at fly-half and the introduction of Joseph at outside-centre.

Ford proved to be a constant threat with ball in hand while Joseph’s twinkle toes helped him to evade countless tacklers and end the Six Nations top of the try-scoring chart with four.

“George and JJ are very exciting guys to watch. They score or create tries and they’re always very dangerous,” Robshaw told The Rugby Paper.

“They have both been waiting patiently for their opportunity and they put their hands up. To win games you need to score tries and guys like that will help us in that aspect.

“It was tough to fall short again in the Six Nations but it was great to see our attacking game take shape and really evolve. It was one of the areas we wanted to improve and I think we did that tremendously over the course of the Six Nations.

“We built some good momentum at Twickenham where we have not been beaten for five games now and it puts us in a good place going into the World Cup.

“Given the pool we’re in, we have to make sure we start the competition well.

“In tournaments like that you have to be on the metal every week and we’ve got to make sure our form is consistent.”

Yesterday, Robshaw was back for Harlequins in their win over Gloucester as the 2012 Premiership champions desperately chase a Champions Cup qualification.

England call-ups meant Robshaw missed four Premiership games in February when Quins lost three times, ending their Premiership hopes and making their European quest harder than he would have wished.

“We’re still chasing a Champions Cup spot and all the games are very important for us,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to sneak into it because it’s a very important competition for us and it’d be great to play in it again.

“Like last season, it’s knock out rugby from now on and I hope we can give our fans something to cheer about because it’s been a difficult season.

“It’s been quite tough to watch when I was with England because you just want to help out and it’s never a nice thing to see you team lose whether you’re involved or not. But the situation is as it is and it’s about how we respond and manage to get the results we need.”

Last Wednesday, Robshaw returned to his old club Warlingham RFC, where he played for three years between the ages of seven and 10, with Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea for a training session with hundreds of children turning up to see the England captain.

Robshaw added: “It’s always good to come down and see the next generation of players running around playing rugby. I came back a year ago to see everyone and, although it was tipping down with rain, there was a lot of kids braving the elements to get stuck in.

“That’s what I remember from playing there as a kid. Whether it was raining or not you just want to be out there with your mates playing rugby.”

* Chris Robshaw is the official ambassador of QBE, the business insurance specialist. To make a nomination in QBE My Coach head to QBErugby.com

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