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Robshaw wants you to be an Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timer

He may be about to lead out England on the game’s biggest stage but for skipper Chris Robshaw he can still remember his first taste of rugby as a child.

Robshaw developed his love for the sport playing in his garden with his brothers, before being spotted by Harlequins' Academy some years later after attending Millfield Prepatory School and then Millfield.

The combative back row forward joined Quins as a teenager – but it is still less than a decade ago that Robshaw, who could follow in Martin Johnson's shoes by lifting the trophy on 31 October, finally believed he could forge a career as a professional rugby player.    

The England captain's interview was part of a new campaign from Premiership Rugby and Aviva to welcome new supporters to Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

To apply for free tickets click here

Robshaw is one of 12 club ambassadors – including Danny Cipriani, James Haskell, Schalk Brits and Courtney Lawes – who are backing the ‘Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers’ campaign.

As part of the campaign Aviva and the Premiership Rugby clubs have teamed up to give away almost 2,000 free tickets across every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas.

With rugby in England in the spotlight like never before, these tickets can only be claimed by supporters who have never been to an Aviva Premiership Rugby match.

Games available include the opening round clashes – Harlequins v Wasps, Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints, Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester Rugby, Bath Rugby v Exeter Chiefs, Saracens v Sale Sharks and London Irish v Leicester Tigers.

"The first time I played rugby was with my brothers, my mum used to take us to mini rugby at weekends or it was in the garden, we'd throw the ball around between us and we'd be out there all day," said Robshaw.  

"It took me a while to play my first Premiership game, I think it was about four seasons; it was fantastic and was made more special as it was the London Double Header at Twickenham.

"We got changed in the England dressing room and I remember looking around and thinking that it was fantastic.

"I was never really sure of rugby as a profession growing up, I remember I was 17 or 18, I was taken into the Harlequins Academy and I thought I would give this a go.

"It probably wasn't until a couple of years late I thought I can really give this a go."

While Robshaw formed an unbreakable bond with the sport at an early age, the England skipper is convinced the competitive nature of Aviva Premiership Rugby and the carnival atmosphere at grounds is the perfect cocktail for rugby first-timers.

He urged supporters who will no doubt get behind England this month and next to expand their passion for the sport and continue their newfound interest when Aviva Premiership Rugby swings into action in October.     

"The Premiership is so special, it's tough and I think that's what makes it so unique," he added.
 
"If you're not on your mettle every week, anyone can beat anyone, it's a great atmosphere and I really think people should go down and try it out."

The Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers programme will give away almost 2,000 free tickets across every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas.  Fans are encouraged to tell friends and family who have never been to a Harlequins fixture before to visit  www.premiershiprugby.com/avivafirsttimers now to sign up for their free tickets.

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