Billy Whizz close to a comeback

Former Lions hero Jason Robinson almost made a sensational playing comeback earlier this season. [more]

Billy Whizz close to a comeback

Former Lions hero Jason Robinson almost made a sensational playing comeback earlier this season.

The 2001 and 2005 Lion is currently head coach at Guinness Premiership outfit Sale Sharks but a substantial injury crisis led to talks of a surprise return to the playing field.

Sale’s director of rugby Kingsley Jones has admitted that he discussed the possibility with 35-year-old Robinson recently but that the duo ultimately decided against the shock move.

"The prospect of getting Jason involved again on the field was thought about and talked about," Jones told the Manchester Evening News.

"I mentioned to Robbo a couple of weeks ago if he would consider playing and the option did cross both our minds.

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"Jason certainly considered it. He cares for the club and going into the Wasps game last month we were without Nick Macleod and it looked like we were without Marika Vakacegu as well so we were struggling at full-back."

A desperate injury crisis has coincided with a drop in form for the Sharks, who have lost seven games on the trot and are now level with Leeds Carnegie at the bottom of the Premiership table.

But while Jones says that bringing Robinson out of retirement looked an attractive proposition in principle, he admits that practically it wasn’t right for Robinson or the club as a whole.

"It’s tempting when you have someone of his calibre alongside you," added Jones.

"I remember when we were talking about recruiting a full-back and I looked around and Jason’s there sat next to me!

"But the reality is he doesn’t want to play. He’s made that decision and we respect it.

"Furthermore, if we had got him on board it would have sent us over the salary cap for the year as we would have had to move his salary over to the playing budget.

"On top of that we had to consider whether bringing coaches out of retirement would have sent the right message out to the players, too.

"And there would be no guarantee that had he come back it would have been the Jason Robinson we all remember as it’s more than two years since he last played."

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