Former England captain Chris Robshaw says he became “hugely depressed” in the wake of his country’s dismal display at the 2015 World Cup.
Hosts England were dumped out of the competition at the end of the pool stage following Twickenham defeats to Wales and Australia.
Flanker Robshaw was warned by his then Harlequins coach Conor O’Shea of the risks of leading England at the tournament and felt “blank behind the eyes” for a long time afterwards.
“For me, I was hugely depressed. I remember I went back to the room and just held my wife and we just cried. There were tears everywhere and I was blank behind the eyes for a long time after that.
“I became a bit of a recluse, I didn’t want to go out, just felt like people were judging you all of the time.”
Robshaw lost the England captaincy to Dylan Hartley in January 2016 following the appointment of current national team coach Eddie Jones.
The 34-year-old remains thankful for the support he received following the World Cup disappointment, including some comforting words from former New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick.
“I remember straight after the tournament that Sean Fitzpatrick emailed me,” said Robshaw, who is set to join San Diego Legion in Major League Rugby after spending his entire club career with Quins.
“Eventually you do come through things but it’s a scar I will always wear.
“It’s not something I am proud of but it is part of my history now and I am so grateful for everyone who rallied around me because I definitely couldn’t have got through it by myself.”