Robshaw will be fit for Pumas

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 21:23
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NEWS: Former England captain Chris Robshaw should be fit for the first of the two Test series with Argentina.

He is struggling with an ankle injury restricting his training ahead of their departure, defence coach Paul Gustard said.

The flank - who has rebounded from the disappointment of being stripped of the captaincy following the humiliating first round exit at the 2015 World Cup - trained apart from the rest of the inexperienced squad on Friday.

However, Gustard told Press Association Sport there was nothing too concerning about that and Robshaw, who turns 31 on Sunday, will be on the plane on Saturday for the whistlestop tour with the first Test on June 10th and the second a week later.  

"Everyone is good," Gustard said referring to Robshaw, No.8 Nathan Hughes and New Zealand-born former rugby league star Danny Solomona.

"Chris had a sore ankle so missed training on the field but did some different training. The other guys we had concerns about completely trained, so we are happy."

The Six Nations champions - deprived of a repeat Grand Slam under Eddie Jones with defeat to Ireland in their final game - travel with a squad filled with Test rookies as many of their most experienced players are with the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand.

However, Gustard says there is no reason why some of the players going to Argentina can't lay out a marker for competing with the established stars when the November Tests come around.

Nevertheless, he is looking to other senior members of the squad for the Pumas series such as Robshaw, fullback Mike Brown, scrum-half Danny Care and fly-half George Ford to help along the rookies.

"I think for everyone it is an opportunity to put another claim on an England shirt," said Gustard.

"We always say that you borrow the shirt, it is yours for 80 minutes, it is your responsibility to take the team forward on and off the pitch.

"Those guys (Brown, Care and Ford) have had a great career with England, with us over the last year and a half, and we are looking forward to them continuing that in the next two games."

Gustard, a former flank who played for amongst others Leicester Tigers, said the players travelling to Argentina could in fact have a head start over those away on Lions duty for the 2019 World Cup squad.

"Everyone has got a place to play for," said Gustard.

"The 30 guys here are the front-runners because they are here with us, so it is a great opportunity to see how they act in camp, off the field and obviously on the field as well."

Agence France-Presse