Dan Robson hopes to win his first England cap this weekend in the Six Nations match against France at Twickenham. We shed some light on the jet-heeled Wasps scrum-half
Get to know scrum-half Dan Robson
Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Dan Robson first played rugby for his local club as a five-year-old and later had a season of men’s rugby at Longton. Professionally, he has played for Gloucester, Moseley (on loan) and now Wasps, where he has proved consistently excellent since joining four years ago. He has scored 29 tries in his 135 Premiership appearances.
The son of former Moseley and England B scrum-half Simon Robson, Dan has had to be patient when it comes to international honours. He played for England in a non-cap match against the Barbarians back in 2014 and was called into one of Eddie Jones’s early training squads in August 2016.
Yet his first England cap eludes him still. An unused replacement in Dublin, Robson, 26, will raise a huge cheer should he run on for his Test debut this weekend against France.
Rugby World interviewed Robson for an article published in our June 2018 edition. Here’s an insight into the fleet-footed Wasp…
RW: Is it right that you train with different-sized balls?
DR: “Yeah, I still do that. Not just for scrum-halves but any rugby player who wants to improve their skills, it’s just a good drill for hand-eye coordination.
“As rugby players sometimes you get a bit fed up of the oval ball, so it’s quite nice to get a tennis ball or a golf ball or whatever it may be in your hands and really test your skills. When you do throw a rugby ball back in, it seems much easier.
“We do a lot of it in the warm-ups and stuff before sessions (at Wasps), just getting our focus going and getting our passing sorted.”
RW: And your speed is improving too?
DR: “Yeah, I like to think so. We do a lot of work at Wasps not just with Darren Campbell but with Trystan Bevan, our strength & conditioning coach; every week he’s getting us to do extra speed work. It’s definitely helping.”
RW: You scored four tries in a match against Sale (last season). Was that a record for you?
DR: “I scored about 12 tries when I was eight in a touch game! But definitely nothing comparable to that game against Sale.”
RW: Have you always been a scrum-half?
DR: “No, I was a fly-half until I was about 17, 18. I played all my college stuff at fly-half, all my school stuff, and then when I went to England they told me to have a run-out at nine. Pretty much from then on, U18s England, I moved from ten to nine. I’d like to think they didn’t have anyone else in mind (at ten) but George Ford was there! I’ll play wherever.”
RW: Did you play other sports?
DR: “I played as many sports as I could really (growing up). Golf, tennis, cricket, rugby, football. Anything and everything.”
RW: Which rugby players did you most admire when you were younger?
DR: “Matt Dawson, George Gregan, Jonny Wilkinson, Stephen Larkham. That 2003 World Cup final was pretty big for me. Watching those guys battle it out until extra time was big.
“Golf wise, I always enjoyed watching Tiger Woods and it’s good to see him back now. Again, like cricket, your Andrew Flintoffs, Kevin Pietersens, the 2005 Ashes series. Those few years really were pretty awesome for sport in England.”
RW: Do you have any issues with the current game?
DR: “The game is flowing quite well. Any new laws take a bit of time to bed in and for people to get used to. So it’s nice to crack on with it and not have so many new laws come in every year and you’ve got to change certain things. So no, it’s pretty good at the minute.”
RW: Who lifts the mood at Wasps when it’s needed?
DR: “Tom Cruse. He’s pretty energetic and very talkative. He’ll always be that positive figure and get the boys going.”
RW: You and your partner Elizabeth have a fashion business, don’t you?
DR: “Yeah, we’re just redoing our stock and stuff. We started it a few years ago, bit of a side project and a hobby. We’re both into fashion. We did a bit and it went well.
“It’s kind of on the back-burner at the minute but it’s something good that we can go back to. We sell T-shirts, hoodies, caps – pretty much anything. I design stuff. It’s a business we do together and we’ve got a big rebrand coming up.”
RW: Is that something you see yourself doing when you stop playing?
DR: “Potentially. I haven’t really thought. It was good for us at the time. An opportunity came round and it was good for me to learn a new skill in design and help out with that kind of stuff. It was more about that and not looking too much into the future and when I retire. But in a few years’ time, who knows?
RW: What are your favourite sports to watch?
DR: “Cricket and golf are my two main ones. If I could have a ticket to any sports event I’d probably choose the Masters.”
RW: Are you quite a good golfer yourself?
DR: “I’m okay, I can get around. There’s quite a few of us here at Wasps that play. It’s good fun. Jimmy (Gopperth) plays quite a lot.”
RW: What’s been your favourite holiday?
DR: “I went to Croatia in the summer (2017) with Elizabeth, Elliot Daly and his partner. That was definitely up there. It was just a good week with good people, one of those weeks where we had a laugh all the time. It was great fun.”