Former Harlequins and England captain Chris Robshaw announces his retirement

Former Harlequins and England captain Chris Robshaw announces his retirement

Former Harlequins and England captain Chris Robshaw has announced his retirement from professional rugby.

Robshaw earned 66 test caps for England captaining his country on 42 occasions. He played exactly 300 for Harlequins before heading to San Diego in 2020 to feature in the MLR.

Three dislocated shoulders has led to his decision to hang the boots up at the age of 36.

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He confirmed his retirement on social media on Friday.

"To my family, friends and fans,

After 18 years of professional rugby and a career | could only have dreamt of, I am officially announcing my retirement from the great game. Following three dislocated shoulders in quick succession my body has told me to blow the final whistle.

No words can do justice to how fortunate and privileged I am to have enjoyed a career in the sport I am most passionate about.

I remember my mum taking me to my first mini rugby game - sparking the fire that lead me to later play for and captain Harlequins and England. In doing so, I have been afforded opportunities beyond anything I could have imagined in terms of education, travel and experience." 

"Playing for and captaining England has been the greatest honour of my life and there is no comparable feeling to representing and leading your country. It was a responsibility I approached with respect, optimism and determination and I hope in the coming years I can use my experience and knowledge gained to support other players on their journeys.


Playing at the top level comes with a lot of pressure and with that comes many highs and lows. My advice is to surround yourself with strong and kind people, something I was lucky to have. 



I want to thank my teammates for pushing me to be better, for laughing with me and for crying with me. I want to thank each coach for their commitment to improving me as a player and a person, and each physio for getting me back onto the pitch each week.

To my mum and family - thank you for supporting me from my first game as a boy to my last as a man. To my wife, Camilla, you have been my rock throughout most of my professional career - - thank you for everything you have done to make it possible.



Nothing brings me greater joy than knowing my son, Wilding, was able to see his dad play a game or two and I look forward to taking him down to The Stoop, Twickenham or to San Diego to join the fans.



To those fans, my final and loudest thank you. Over the years it has been you that has sat through wind, rain and snow to inspire me to dig deeper, to do better. I will miss so much about rugby but playing in front of you and for you, will be what I miss most. Nothing comes close to the overriding sense of love, acceptance and support from the fans when you represent your club or your country."


Moving forward there is a sadness but I am excited for mine and my family's future. Camilla and I have spent many years working with amazing charities but have decided to start our own – the Kerslake Robshaw Foundation.


Our aim is to support disadvantaged young lives find drive and passion through music and sport. This is a flame I believe we all have inside us. I was lucky enough to have that nurtured and hope you can all support me in doing the same for others.


Much love, Robbo

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A former Millfield student, he made his debut for Harlequins in 2005 and quickly established himself as a favourite among supporters as the Club regained Premiership status.

In the 2008/09 season Robshaw was named Premiership Player of the Year and was handed the Harlequins captaincy in 2010. Under Robshaw’s leadership, the Club enjoyed its most successful period in the professional era as the back-rower led Harlequins to the 2011 Amlin Challenge Cup and the 2012 Aviva Premiership; scoring a try against Leicester Tigers in the Final.

Following the successful 2011/12 season, the one-club man was once again named Premiership Player of the Season; the only player to win the award twice. He captained his country for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In January 2016, he lost the England captaincy to hooker Dylan Hartley, but retained his place as a regular starter. Robshaw was shifted to blindside flanker that year.

The Redhill-born back-rower was also a crucial element to England’s unbeaten 2016, playing in every match of the RBS Six Nations Grand Slam, the 3-0 whitewash of Australia and the four Old Mutual Wealth Series wins. 

August 2019 saw him continue his role as Harlequins captain before announcing he would exit the club at the end of the 2019/20 season.

He played his final match in October 2020 for Harlequins leading his side to victory over Leicester in his 300th and final game.

He made the move to San Diego to join the SD Legions in the MLR with his two seasons at the club interrupted by injury before he announced his retirement. 

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