Rob­shaw grate­ful for sec­ond op­por­tu­nity to end 16 years at Har­lequins with ‘strange’ send-off

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport / Rugby Union - By Andy Sims

Chris Rob­shaw’s Har­lequins farewell may not be quite as he en­vis­aged – but the club cap­tain is just grate­ful to have one at all.

Rob­shaw con­firmed in Fe­bru­ary that he would be leav­ing Quins after 16 years at the end of the sea­son, a month be­fore sport was halted by lock­down.

The for­mer Eng­land cap­tain, 34, sub­se­quently se­cured a move to San Diego Le­gion, but he was able to reach an agree­ment to fin­ish the de­layed sea­son with Quins.

“I was very un­sure, like a lot of peo­ple, where rugby stood, and were we go­ing to get play­ing?” he said. “I’m de­lighted to be back at the club and have this fi­nal stint. Ob­vi­ously it’s go­ing to be quite strange with no fans, no crowd, no friends and fam­ily. It will be a bit un­usual, but it also gives you the chance to fin­ish on your terms, in­stead of it be­ing cut short in a very strange way. When you get to the end of the sea­son at least then you know that’s it, ended.

“Ear­lier on in the year I knew it was prob­a­bly go­ing to be my last sea­son at the club, so you ar­range things – friends and fam­ily to come to the games, all go to the pub after and have a nice send-off.

“But of course all that has changed. From a per­sonal and hu­man point of view it is go­ing to be strange. But you see the level other sports have got to as well. The first cou­ple of games might be a lit­tle bit strange. Lit­tle things like the chang­ing rooms. We can’t use those so we get changed in the bars now, all spread out. You can’t do the hud­dles. It’s go­ing to be un­usual, but the teams who deal with it the best are go­ing to be the most suc­cess­ful.”

Quins are back in ac­tion to­mor­row against Sale at the Stoop.

Alex Goode, mean­while, has signed a new con­tract with Sara­cens which will see the back con­tinue at Al­lianz Park un­til 2023. It means the 32-year-old will have spent al­most 20 years with the club, whose academy side he joined be­fore go­ing on to ap­pear for the first team in 2008.

Neal Hat­ley, who served as Eng­land scrum coach for four years un­der Ed­die Jones, is ex­pected to be pro­moted to the role of Bath’s head coach to­day. He has been work­ing as the club’s for­wards and de­fence spe­cial­ist.

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