Marler replaces Robshaw as Harlequins captain
August 4, 2014
Joe Marler (right) replaces Chris Robshaw (middle) as Harlequins skipper © Getty Images
Robshaw has captained Harlequins for the past four seasons but Conor O'Shea felt the time was right to relieve some of the pressures of being captain of both club and country. With the World Cup just over a year away, he has opted to give the captaincy of Harlequins to Marler.
"I am delighted that Joe has agreed to take over the captaincy from Chris," Harlequins boss O'Shea said. "He is a massively influential player and person within the group and will bring his own personality and style to the role, with the full backing of the entire squad and management. It is hard to believe that at just 24, Joe has already played over 100 times for the club and become a cornerstone of the England pack.
"With regards to Chris, I have been speaking to him about the dual role of captaining both England and Harlequins for some time. He has a massive year ahead of him and I feel that we should relieve him of some of the pressure, which will allow him to focus on being at his best for both club and country.
"We are extremely grateful to Chris for the four seasons that he captained the club, of which three were spent captaining both Harlequins and England. We want him to be at his best for Harlequins, win trophies here and also lift the World Cup next year. To do so we believe he needs to be fresh both mentally and physically, hence why we have made this decision now."
Marler, 24, will be one of the youngest club captains in Premiership history but despite his relatively tender years, he has already made over 100 appearances for Harlequins alongside his 22 England caps.
"Firstly I want to pay tribute to how well Chris has done over the last four years, leading us through the most successful period we have had as a club," Marler said. "It will be good to be able to take the pressure off him as he heads into a huge year with England. I'm really honoured to be asked to lead a special group like this and a great club, and I can't wait to get stuck in!"
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton