Robshaw extends Quins deal to cover virus delay


London (AFP)

Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw has signed a contract extension that will cover the end of a season delayed by the coronavirus, the English Premiership club said Tuesday.

The former England skipper announced in February he would be leaving Quins at the end of the current campaign, amid speculation he could sign for the New York side set to be involved in the United States' Major League rugby competition.

But that was when it was thought the European season would be over long before Robshaw's current contract expires on July 1.

Instead the English top flight was suspended in March because of the pandemic, although officials now plan for the Premiership to resume on August 15.

And Robshaw will be there to lead the London club when it does, with the flanker, capped 66 times by England, saying in a club statement: "It's great news personally to know I will have the chance to play my final game for my boyhood club.

"The pandemic has affected so many aspects of so many peoples' lives, I'm just grateful to the club for allowing me the opportunity to finish my final season with Harlequins.

"I'm confident I can speak for the entire team in saying we're looking forward to giving our fans something to scream and shout about again after a long absence.”

Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard added: "Chris is not only one of the most significant players in Harlequins’ rich history, he is a brilliant human being who deserves the opportunity to add to his 290+ appearances and lead the team to the end of the season."

Meanwhile Harlequins said former Munster and Ireland front-row Jerry Flannery would join the club as their line-out coach ahead of rugby's return.