Jack Clifford is making the Harlequins No.7 jersey his own this season, and England’s World Cup captain Chris Robshaw insists the starlet’s versatility can make him one of Eddie Jones’ greatest assets for the Red Rose.
Robshaw himself has been excelling for Quins at No.6 this term, with director of rugby Conor O’Shea feeling the time was right to switch the 29-year-old flanker from openside.
With three Aviva Premiership Rugby tries to his name already this season, as well as another in last weekend’s nail-biting European triumph over Cardiff Blues, 22-year-old Clifford has more than justified his involvement.
The former England Under-20 captain has earned himself a call-up to Jones’ first senior squad for the Six Nations and Robshaw is confident he can carry that form onto the international stage.
“Jack’s done extremely well and just built and built on last season,” said Robshaw, who was speaking at the launch of his Testimonial Year.
“He broke into the side then, and now he’s really enjoying his rugby and showing what he’s about.
“He’s been getting better game on game for Quins, and at the moment at the club we have a very good balance.
“He is doing really well and of course has the versatility too in that he can play at six, seven, or eight.
“We have a mix of the experienced guys and the less experienced, and you can see that especially in the back row.
“You’ve got the experienced in myself, the very experienced in Nick Easter, and then Jack playing alongside us.
“There are similar pairings moving forward in the second row and front row as well, and then in the half-backs too, which is what it’s all about.
“Harlequins are trying to bring that excitement and bring that youth through into the team, but it’s always good to have the wise heads there too.”