Lion leaves Sharks staff

Former Lions star Jason Robinson will leave Sale Sharks at the end of this season. [more]

Lion leaves Sharks staff

Former Lions star Jason Robinson will leave Sale Sharks at the end of this season.

The World Cup winning wing retired from the playing side of the sport in 2007 but returned to Sale last year to take on the role of head coach.

Robinson, who was a Test Lion in both 2001 and 2005, has spent just a single season in the position under director of rugby Kingsley Jones but will now step down to ‘return to farming and pursue his many other interests in rugby’.

"When Kingsley asked me to help out last year I felt that I couldn’t let him or the club down in what was always going to be a very challenging season,” said Robinson, after Sale guaranteed their place in the Premiership despite defeat to Newcastle last weekend. 

"While I had no plans to go into coaching, I was delighted to respond in the club’s hour of need.

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“Having now made sure that Sale Sharks will be playing Guinness Premiership rugby next year, I feel that the time is right to let another coach take up the mantle."

Robinson, who scored five tries on his Lions debut nine years ago, will be replaced by former Scotland assistant coach Mike Brewer.

The ex-All Black, who appeared in New Zealand’s 1995 World Cup Final defeat to South Africa, will take charge of all senior rugby affairs at Edgeley Park this summer, with Jones moving into a long-term planning role.

Sale are currently sitting next to bottom of the Guinness Premiership standings and have failed to qualify for next year’s Heineken Cup having been knocked out in the group stages of this season’s tournament.

"Although results this season have been disappointing, I believe that this squad has tremendous potential to achieve great success in coming seasons," said Brewer, who will not be involved in team selection for Sale’s final game of the season against Harlequins the weekend after this.

"I know Kingsley’s very passionate about the game. In fact Kingsley phoned me on Monday night before the changes were announced to ask if we could meet and invited me to his house. For four hours we sat and talked rugby about the team, the players… we just talked rugby," Brewer revealed.

"We also talked about the whole structure, about how he saw himself fitting in but I stressed what we can’t have is the players answering to two masters.

"As far as the rugby structure goes, I’ll be head coach and will coach the forwards and scrum.

"Kingsley’s is going to working be on the operation side of things in a strategic level looking at the Academy, driving the programme, as well as up-skilling himself such as going to the Canterbury Crusaders and looking at their set-up there, as well as looking at other set-ups that can enhance the product here.”

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