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Page last updated at 22:22 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Robinson sympathy for Hadden heat

Edinburgh head coach Andy Robinson
Robinson knows all about the pressures facing a national coach

Edinburgh's Andy Robinson has expressed sympathy for Frank Hadden amid the fall-out from Scotland's poor show in the Six Nations championship.

Hadden's position as national head coach is in question after the Scots finished their campaign with just one victory for the third successive year.

Former England coach Robinson said: "I think he's coping with it very well. It's a tough time and I feel for him.

"I've been through that and I understand the pressures."

Edinburgh head coach Robinson was formerly in charge of the England national side for two unsuccessful years after leading Bath to Heineken Cup success.

He won just nine of his twenty two matches in the Twickenham hot-seat after replacing World Cup-winning Sir Clive Woodward in 2004 and resigned from the post in November 2006.

Robinson continued on the topic of Hadden: "It's only when you're in it that you really understand the pressures and comments that are made against you.

"Every single comment you look at and you take personally and sometimes this criticism is unfair."

But the Englishman, 44, who enjoyed an illustrious playing career as a flanker with Bath and England, believes Scottish rugby has a bright future, but only if players learn to cut out crucial mistakes and shed their 'nearly-men' image.

"It's time to get rid of that tag. What I'm focusing on is the Scotland boys coming back to Edinburgh now and dealing with that and nailing it," Robinson said.

"If I was to assess the Scotland performance (against England) at the weekend I thought 23 points were conceded when Scotland should probably not have conceded those points," he continued

"They were in control of it and I think that's something for everyone to take on board, the Edinburgh players, the Glasgow players, that we are in control of the game, the tactical side of the game.


"When you look at the likes of Munster and the Ireland side, they don't make those kind of mistakes inside their third.

"But I'm confident about the future of Scottish rugby. It's moving forward."

Robinson was in bullish mood ahead of Edinburgh's Magners League clash at home to Connacht.

He said: "Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have got six games to go and we can really make statements in this championship."

However, when asked if he would be interested in taking the Scotland job, should he be asked, Robinson told BBC Scotland: "My role's with Edinburgh and that is where my focus is."

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see also
Magners Celtic League 2008/9
29 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Magners League table
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Celtic rugby archive
07 Jul 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport NI coverage
11 Feb 09 |  Northern Ireland
BBC Scotland programme guide
26 Jul 09 |  Scotland
Edinburgh v Connacht (Fri)
25 Mar 09 |  Scottish
Hadden non-committal over future
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union

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