Brighton - Chris Robshaw is determined not to let the fact
he has missed out on selection for the British and Irish Lions cloud his
enjoyment of England's upcoming two-Test tour of Argentina.
The long-arranged fixtures against the Pumas have been given
added significance after Six Nations champions England and Argentina were drawn
together in the same pool for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Former England captain Robshaw has experienced plenty of
highs and lows in his Test career, including being skipper when the team
suffered the embarrassment of a first-round exit on home soil during the last
World Cup two years ago.
So, on that basis the fact the 30-year-old Harlequins
flank missed out on a keenly contested back-row place in the Lions squad for
their upcoming tour of New Zealand may not rank as the biggest disappointment
of Robshaw's rugby life.
"A lot of us have spoken about that, and yes we missed
out, but we are very much looking forward to Argentina," said Robshaw at
England's Brighton training camp.
"With a lot of players away (with the Lions) this is
going to be a very challenging England tour, but it's exciting as well."
Asked if he has considered the prospect of being on the
Lions' stand-by list, Robshaw added: "I think you park that. If something
happens, fantastic, but if not, all my attention is with England, and that's
where it will stay unless things do change."
A trip that could have gone under the radar has been given
fresh relevance for Eddie Jones's men by the 2019 draw.
"Especially with the World Cup group coming up, I think
that probably puts a bit more significance on it, so now every time we play
each other that's always going to be brought up, like it was previously when we
played Wales or Australia (who both beat England in their 2015 World Cup
pool)," said Robshaw.
It was in Argentina where Robshaw made his Test debut eight
years ago and the loose forward is relishing the prospect of s return.
"The last time I went on tour to Argentina was when I
made my debut. It was eight years ago, it was all a bit of a whirlwind. I'm now
in a very different position and I can speak to some of the guys who might make
their debuts and I know exactly what they'll be going through, what they'll be
"I'm excited about being a senior guy. That was
definitely a challenge going to Salta, making my debut but now I'm helping to
grow the squad."
Robshaw believes England will face a more rounded Pumas side
than the one he first came across.
"When I first played them they were very set-piece
orientated and territory focused. Since they've got into the Rugby Championship
they throw the ball around," he explained.
"They still have a very strong set-piece, particularly
the scrum, but I think they have a much more free-flowing, attacking style now
and do challenge you in different aspects.