Round-Up: Robshaw has the right stuff to be England captain, says Quins' O'Shea


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The Independent Online

Harlequins' director of rugby, Conor O'Shea, believes his captain, Chris Robshaw, has the potential to be a future England skipper after the flanker scored a try and led his team to their eighth straight league victory, a 13-26 win at Bath on Saturday.

"He is a brilliant player," O'Shea said. "He would be my choice as England captain. He doesn't have to talk too much but he leads from the front."

Harlequins came home comfortable winners but faced an early scare after Bath missed kickable penalties and Robshaw once again showed his worth, making a try-saving tackle on Bath winger Tom Biggs.

Nick Evans clinically kicked 16 points for Harlequins, who were further boosted by the return of Danny Care from a toe injury after three months on the sidelines.

Richard Cockerill tore into his Leicester side after watching them squander a 17-point lead against London Irish, who battled back to snatch a 24-24 draw. "It is hugely disappointing," he said. "We put ourselves in a position to win it and the penalty count was massively in our favour. Across the board, everyone was to blame."

Toby Flood continued to impress following his return from New Zealand, booting two conversions from a Tom Croft score and a penalty try. But a late London Irish revival included scores from replacements Adam Thompstone and Matt Garvey, the latter touching down after a charged-down kick.

The Gloucester head coach, Brian Redpath, has played down the significance of his side's 24-19 win at Exeter on Saturday – their first away win in the Premiership since February – in the wake of the fatal M5 crash, the motorway connecting the two clubs.

"For me it is a very humbling experience" Redpath said. "We are in a privileged position playing sport. Some people sitting out there have a lot more to worry about than us winning or losing."

But Redpath did travel home buoyed by his side's defensive display: "Exeter are a strong scrum-and-drive side so it was important that we were solid defensively, I thought, from one to 15."

Freddie Burns scored the opening try and converted all three of Gloucester's tries as well as a second-half penalty. Exeter were well-stifled until a late break from Kevin Barrett secured a losing bonus point for the Chiefs, something head coach Rob Baxter took heart from. "It was good to take that opportunity – a point is not the end of the world," he said.