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Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 11:40 UK

Jason Robinson to make rugby comeback for Fylde

Jason Robinson
Robinson scored England's only try in the 2003 World Cup final

England World Cup winner Jason Robinson will come out of retirement to play for National League club Fylde next season.

Robinson, who turns 36 on Friday, retired from playing in 2007 before a 14-month spell as head coach of Premiership team Sale ended in April.

Ex-England coach Brian Ashton has been appointed as a consultant to Fylde.

"It is a remarkably fortunate coincidence for me to be returning to help out my old club Fylde as Jason arrives to play," said Ashton.

"I have had the privilege of working with Jason and know that his stature, ability and qualities as a player and a person will benefit all who come into contact with him, both on and off the field."

Robinson made his name in rugby league with Wigan and Great Britain before permanently switching codes in 2000 and became an instant favourite at Sale.

The fleet-footed winger, nicknamed 'Billy Whizz', made his international union debut in February 2001, four months after his first appearance for the Sharks.


His performances earned Robinson a place on the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia later that year, scoring on his full debut in the first Test victory in Brisbane.

And he quickly became an integral part of a dominant England side coached by Sir Clive Woodward, scoring a try in the 2003 World Cup final in the extra-time 20-17 victory over Australia in Sydney.

Robinson also captained England before retiring from international rugby in 2005 to spend more time with his family.

However, he returned to the England set-up for the 2007 Six Nations and World Cup, where Robinson again played in the final, before finally announcing his retirement from rugby in December.

Fylde finished the 2009-10 season ninth in National League Two North but have recruited former Sale backs coach Mark Nelson, who worked with Robinson during the Sharks' Premiership-winning 2005-06 campaign.

"I am absolutely delighted we have signed Jason for next season," stated Nelson. "Given his record in both codes of the game, it's not an exaggeration to say he is the best ever rugby player.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for our players to play alongside such an experienced and mercurial talent and I expect a number of players will express an interest in joining the club to have a similar opportunity."

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see also
Ashton returns to his Fylde roots
29 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
Brewer replaces Robinson at Sale
28 Apr 10 |  Sale
Robinson named as Sale head coach
25 Feb 09 |  Sale
Robinson insists he will retire
01 Dec 07 |  Rugby Union
Robinson admits tear-jerking exit
21 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
Jason Robinson's career in photos
08 Nov 04 |  Photo Galleries

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