Robinson back in rugby

Date published: February 18 2013

Former England and Scotland head coach Andy Robinson is back in rugby after being appointed as director of rugby for Bristol.

Former England and Scotland head coach Andy Robinson is back in rugby after being appointed as director of rugby for Championship outfit Bristol.

Robinson quit as Scotland coach following a dismal November that culminated in a defeat to Tonga after losses to New Zealand and the Boks.

But the 48-year-old was keen to get back in the game and watched Bristol beat Rotherham at the Memorial Stadium on Sunday and he has agreed to take charge of the promotion-chasing west country outfit on March 1.

Robinson was a member of England's coaching staff under Clive Woodward during their triumphant 2003 World Cup campaign, but had only limited success once he replaced Woodward in the top job between 2004 and 2006.

He was more successful at club level, coaching Bath to the 1998 European Cup final, and Bristol chairman Chris Booy had been keen to land the former England flanker for several weeks.

“I am delighted to be joining Bristol Rugby at such an exciting time for the club,” Robinson said.

“I firmly believe that with the passion for rugby in the region and the vision of the owners, Bristol has the potential to be one of the most successful sides in England.

“I am looking forward to building a squad with a blend of experience and young, home-grown talent, to play an exciting and winning brand of rugby.

“Our immediate objective is to achieve promotion back to the Premiership as soon as possible.”

Bristol, who are backed by Guernsey-based millionaire Steve Lansdown, have confirmed that Liam Middleton will continue as head coach.

“Since Steve Lansdown has become involved with the club (during the 2008-09 season) we have been very serious about what where we want to be, but it has been difficult to attract the right players and somebody like Andy,” Booy said.

“This appointment shows that we are serious. We want the best people to do the best jobs, and that is not just director of rugby, but also players.

“Andy's appointment shows that we are going to get there, and there are no more ifs, but it's when.

“We are delighted that Andy is joining us as director of rugby. Liam has done a good job – he has put us in a good place – and he is going to work with Andy.

“This is a long-term appointment and Andy's experience speaks for itself.

“He is a world-class coach, an England World Cup and European Cup winner. His credentials are as good as anybody, and we now have one of the best coaches in the world at the club.”