O'Shea: England captain Robshaw will be fresher this season
10 August 2014 12:29pm
Conor O'Shea has tipped Chris Robshaw, centre, to become a better player this season
Conor O'Shea insists England captain Chris Robshaw will become a better player after being replaced as skipper of club side Harlequins.
Robshaw, who led England in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations, has captained Quins for the past four years.
But fellow England international Joe Marler will take over from Robshaw for the forthcoming Premiership season.
Robshaw, who looks likely to lead England at the 2015 World Cup, started all five of the Red Rose's 2014 RBS 6 Nations games.
And Quins director of rugby O'Shea says his decision is in the best interests of the flanker.
"It has been something I had been considering for well over 12 months because I could see being captain of England is not an easy job," O'Shea told the Telegraph.
"There is a lot of responsibility, weight of expectation and a focus on you the whole time.
"As Chris is in such a strong position within England, I looked at how we could help him be at his best for Quins and be fresh as well for the whole year without me putting more and more strain on him.
"I also spoke to Stuart [Lancaster] about it and told him what I was thinking.
"I think this will be the best thing for Harlequins but I also think it is going to be best in the long term for Chris. I just want him to be energised and fresh.
"I want him to be able to come back into the group or when he is in the build-up to the autumn internationals and the RBS 6 Nations to focus on being Chris Robshaw the rugby player."
England's preparations for the Autumn International series were potentially dealt a further blow as Maro Itoje was forced to undergo an x-ray after Saracens' European victory over Scarlets on Saturday night.