IT MAY have been a long time coming, but Chris Robshaw believes Mark Wilson has proved he belongs on the international stage after making the most of his England opportunity.

The Newcastle Falcons flanker was finally handed his first proper run in the team by Eddie Jones in the autumn Test series, having made his debut on the tour of Argentina in 2017.

He has since made himself an integral member of the Red Rose squad during this year’s Six Nations, forming a formidable partnership alongside Tom Curry and Billy Vunipola.

And while the 29-year-old Cumbrian has had to wait a long time for his shot, fellow back-rower Robshaw - who recently returned for Harlequins from a knee injury he sustained in October - has been impressed with Wilson’s performances in an England jersey.

“Tom Curry and Mark Wilson have done extremely well and it’s a credit to them,” said Robshaw, who was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Warlingham RFC after their U10s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher.

“These are guys who have performed well for some time now. Tom in particular is a young guy, only 20, but he’s a tough - a bit strange - but a tough kid, he’s a good character to have around.

“Mark has been waiting to play for a while and he’s been in and around it, but credit to him he’s taken this opportunity and done really well.

“The competition for places spurs you on again and it will be tough, because as a unit they are playing very well but you have to keep focusing on your own game and see what you can do.

“Brad Shields has also done very well. All of the back row are doing well, whether it’s the guys involved or training, plus there’s a number of guys who could come into that as well.

“It’s an extremely competitive area, but I think that’s what you want as a squad to go into the World Cup and be successful, you need players who can perform and be competitive.”

Robshaw was included in England’s 31-man training squad ahead of their Six Nations win over Italy, but has not been able to make the cut for the matchday team during the Championship.

The 32-year-old was captain during the 2015 World Cup when defeats to Australia and Wales meant England’s campaign was over after just three matches.

And with the pain of the host nation’s exit still fresh in his mind, Robshaw is desperate to give himself a chance at redemption in Japan in the autumn.

“Getting back into the England team is of course my goal moving forward,” said Robshaw.

“With the World Cup coming up I want to have another shot at that after the last one didn’t finish how I would have liked and for me, it’s a good opportunity.

“I was fortunate enough to get to train with the squad last week [before the Italy game] and it was brilliant as that’s where you want to be, it inspires you.

“The level of training, the intensity, the accuracy and the skill, you lift weights a little bit harder, the physio is more intense, as a player it just inspires you.

“It gives you that buzz to spur you on and get back there. Eddie has always been very honest with me, he’s always been very open and our conversations will stay between us.”

Robshaw was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Warlingham RFC after their U10s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby. Warlingham won by describing how their team embodies the spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch, and helps grow the game locally.