Chris Robshaw feels under-manned England have chance of Eden Park success
Captain Chris Robshaw feels England have every chance of defying the odds in the first Test against New Zealand.
Last Updated: 05/06/14 10:51am
Everything would seem stacked against Robshaw's side going into the clash at Eden Park, but the Harlequins flanker still fancies their chances.
England go into the game without any of their Northampton and Saracens players as well as injured stars Tom Croft, Alex Corbisiero, Dan Cole and Mako Vunipola, who were all members of the Lions squad.
Add in the fact the All Blacks have not lost a game at Eden Park in 20 years and it is understandable to see England rated 8/1 underdogs, but Robshaw remains in positive mood.
"The odds seem to be stacked against any team that comes to New Zealand, if you look at previous series over the years," Robshaw said.
"But, in saying that, there's a huge opportunity for us, a huge opportunity for a team to go out there and defy those odds.
"A Test victory in New Zealand would probably rank as the No 1 achievement for us. In the whole of English rugby history it's been done twice.
"It's definitely, probably, going to be the hardest thing we've done. This is where we'll find out what we're about.
"We're extremely proud of our squad at the moment, the team we have and the progress we've made during the Six Nations.
"This, we feel, is the next test for us, it has come at a good stage and we're looking forward to going out there.
"We've been building for the last couple of years and this is a very significant marker of how far we've come that will let us know how far on that development curve we are.
"Are we as far as we think we are? Do we need a bit more to go? Are we potentially ahead of schedule? Only time will tell. Hopefully in three games' time we'll know a bit more and be in the right place.
"Our aim has to be to come here and win the series.
"That said, it's easy for me to sit here behind a desk and say that, we've got to go out there on the pitch, we've got to go out there and prove ourselves.
"We need to make sure we get our details spot-on, both on and off the pitch, and most importantly we must execute under pressure in a Test environment that is one of the most hostile places to play rugby.
"This is the place and the team you want to test yourself against."