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Chris Robshaw praises the role of Millfield School in his career

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph Chris Robshaw has desbribed his time at Millfield School as a ‘privilege’ and explained that the school helped him to overcome his dyslexia and prepared him for a life in sport.

The England and Harlequins captain was part of an exceptional team at the school that included Leicester and Gloucester stars Anthony Allen and Olly Morgan.

Reflecting on the strength of sport at the school, and on their rugby program in particular, he said: They (Millfield) give you the opportunities, through top-class coaching and facilities in all sports.”

“(It’s) No surprise that the school produced top-class players in Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams, Jon Mallett – who came back to coach us – Matt Perry, Chris Oti, and Mako Vunipola.”

Indeed so strong is the schools rugby heritage that no fewer than five of their former pupils have been involved with the senior England squad this season; Robshaw, Vunipola, Allen, Sale Sharks’ Henry Thomas and London Irish’s Jonathan Joseph.

It is a trend that looks set to continue long into the future, second row Tom Ellis has appeared several times for England Under 18’s, as has prop Alfie Barron and the school has also had several representatives for both Wales and Scotland, including 2012/13 captain Robbie Tait, all still under the tutelage of Mallett.

Henry Thomas, Jonathan Joseph and Mako Vunipola all played for Millfield and England Age Groups together

 

It has been a season of ups and downs for Robshaw who has been through the highs of victory over New Zealand and an exciting start to the Six Nations but has suffered a few lows since then with the crushing defeat to Wales and missing out on Lions selection.

Robshaw explained though that his time at Millfield has taught him how to deal with the lows in both rugby and in life:

“At school, you learn to lose games. We weren’t an unbeaten XV. You also learn to lose out in certain aspects of life. Of course you want to win everything, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. It’s about how you react to it, move on, store that memory and use it in the future.”

“Professional sport is a roller-coaster. You always want more, and that’s what continues to drive you. At the moment I’d like to get away from it all, come back fresh and have a proper pre-season. Then I’ll go again.”

Millfield themselves have also had a bit of a mixed bag of a season. Obviously one of the best teams in the country, they had a fifteen’s season of incredible highs, including winning the St Joseph’s Festival (and beating our Team of the Season, Dulwich College, in the process) and enjoying a reputation proving victory over Wellington College in a game billed as the ‘game of the season’.

However a group stage knockout in the Rosslyn Park Sevens was a crushing blow for the school, they have been the most successful side at the tournament in recent memory and were visibly shell shocked to have fallen at such an early stage.

Sevens has been one of Millfield’s strongest suits since Robshaw’s days at the school though and with their sevens guru Jonathan ‘Brim’ Brimacombe spanning the eras they will be challenging again next season.

If ever there was a school that highlighted the pathways from schoolboy to elite player though, it is Millfield, and with Mako Vunipola going Down Under with the Lions in a few weeks time, the current crop will have a man at the very highest end of the game to look up to.

To end though, we will leave it to Robshaw himself to summarise what the school did for him: “It gave me the opportunity to do what I am doing today…I’m very privileged to have been a pupil there.”

To see Chris Robshaw’s interview in The Daily Telegraph please follow this link: Chris Robshaw, Daily Telegraph Interview

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