San Diego Legion will have former England captain Chris Robshaw for the second year of a two-year contract for the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 35-year-old flanker (36 in June) is 6’2″ and 245 lbs.
The 2021 season did not go as planned for Chris. Injuries impacted his playing time as he logged 183 minutes in 4 matches, starting 3. His leadership, however, was apparent since his arrival.
Chris was born in Redhill, United Kingdom, and grew up with his two brothers in a single-family home under the care of his mother Patricia, after the death of his father when he was 5. He attended Cumnor House School of Boys, the Millfield School, and the Millfield Preparatory School, the latter in which he was the first team captain. He also attended the University of Roehampton London.
Chris began playing rugby with Warlingham RFC when he was seven years old. He played with England Schools U18s in 2004 and made his first-team debut in the 2005-06 season. In 2006 he played with England U21s in the Six Nations Championship and in the U21 Rugby World Championship.
He made his senior rugby debut with the Harlequins in 2005 and continued with the team until the end of the 2019-2020 season after agreeing to complete the coronavirus-delayed 2019-20 season with the Harlequins before joining the San Diego Legion in 2021 and 2022.
Chris played for the England Saxons team that won the 2008 Churchill Cup and went on to play for England against the Barbarians in 2009 before making his earning the first of his 66 caps (all starts) for England against Argentina on 13 June, 2009 in Salta. The last of his test matches was on Jun 23, 2018, against South Africa.
Thirty of these tests were in Five/Six Nations and four in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Chris was also the team captain from 2012 through 2015 and his 43 appearances as captain are first in the professional era and second to Will Carling, who had 59.
Chris helped the Harlequins win the 2010-11 Challenge Cup and in 2011-12 the team won their first Premiership title. He was a team captain, as well as the Club Vice President, and won Premiership in Player of the Year honors twice in 2008/09 and in 2011/12.
The Guardian article quoted Robshaw in signing with the Legion that “Each season the MLR has grown and advanced its reputation in professional rugby circles. I have been looking at my options to play in the MLR over the last 12 months and there have been plenty of rumors about where I might play.
“In the end, it really was an obvious and easy choice for me. In a short period of time, SD Legion has built a reputation as being a world-class organisation. I am very excited [about]being part of that organisation and helping continue to advance its reputation both on and off the field.”
The San Diego Legion was the only undefeated MLR team in 2020 with five wins. The Legion reached the MLR championship game in 2019, the league’s second season, losing to the two-time champions Seattle Seawolves.
Darren Gardner, an Australian with roots in the Eastern Suburbs club in Sydney, told the Guardian that “We’re very focused on building a world-class organisation and part of that is having world-class players. Few of those could have a bigger name and a bigger impact than Chris Robshaw.”
“Gardner said Robshaw would by his presence alone help develop talent both in the squad and in youth rugby in the catchment area which includes Old Mission Beach Atheltic Club, or OMBAC, a power of the US game.”