Robinson resigns as England coach

England head coach Andy Robinson has resigned from his post. [more]

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England head coach Andy Robinson has resigned from his post.

The 42-year-old succeeded World Cup-winning boss Sir Clive Woodward as coach in late 2004.

Robinson lost 13 of 22 Test matches during his two-year reign and, after meeting the Rugby Football Union hierarchy, he has now quit the job.

Rob Andrew, the elite rugby director at the RFU, said: "On behalf of the Rugby Football Union I am announcing that, further to recent England results and performances, Andy Robinson OBE is standing down from the position of head coach with immediate effect.

"The announcement is made with a great deal of regret as Andy has made a significant contribution to England during the six years he has been involved with the side.

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"Andy played a significant part in England’s Grand Slam, unbeaten tour to Australia and New Zealand and RWC success in 2003.

"He also recorded excellent wins against Australia, South Africa and Wales during his tenure as head coach and was always totally committed to the role. The RFU will always be grateful for his contribution to the England cause.

"Unfortunately, with the exception of the win against South Africa on November 18, England’s recent results have not gone the way that Andy, the players, supporters and the RFU would have wished for. Andy leaves with our very best wishes.

"The review of the four Investec Challenge matches will continue and I will be making my recommendations on the way forward for the team to Club England when they meet on December 7.

"They in turn will review my report and make their recommendations to the RFU management board for their final decision on December 20.

"We will not be making any comment about the appointment of a new head coach until we are ready to do so but all options will be considered.

"We will also need to take into account the work that has been going on within the RFU over the last three months over possible new structures for the professional game.

"These are in the process of being completed, with expert external advice, and we expect to be in a position to take proposals to the RFU Council in January 2007 prior to them going out to Premier Rugby Ltd and the game for wider consultation."

RFU chief executive Francis Baron added: "I would like to wish Andy every success in his future career. He played a big part in England’s success in 2003 and it is an achievement that I’m sure will always be rightly recognised."

Robinson issued his own statement.

He said: "Following last Saturday’s match against South Africa my position remained that I was confident I would coach the England team through to a successful World Cup in 2007, not withstanding the setbacks we have had through the autumn.

"It is my understanding that I had, and still have, the support
of the England players and the England management team.

"However, in the last 48 hours, I have been advised by senior colleagues that those who have governance over me – the RFU management board – do not, and will not, continue to support me as England head coach.

"Therefore, it is with regret that I have agreed a parting of the ways with the RFU and I will cease to be England head coach with immediate effect.

"For six years I have been proud to work with some outstanding people in the England team management and in the England squad.

"They all understand the responsibility, sacrifice and hard work that it takes for England to win. I would like to thank each of them for their support and professionalism throughout.

"On the occasion of my departure I leave very much hoping that rather than sacrificing any more England victories and sacrificing more quality coaches, that the professional game in this country admits that the current structure and system for developing elite rugby players and performance in the international arena is not working.

"If that is so then my successor may have a sensible platform from which to meet everyone’s expectations for England success."

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