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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 13:04 GMT
Robinson is forced out by England
England coach Andy Robinson
Robinson has lost 13 of his 22 matches in charge of England
Andy Robinson's reign as coach of world champions England is over after a disastrous 25-month spell in charge.

The 42-year-old, who succeeded Sir Clive Woodward in October 2004, lost 13 of his 22 games in the job.

After three days of talks, the Rugby Football Union announced Robinson was standing down as coach on Wednesday.

But in a statement, Robinson revealed he had been reluctant to go and insisted he still had the backing of his coaching team and players.

"I was confident that I would coach the England team through to a successful World Cup in 2007, notwithstanding the setbacks that we have had through the autumn," he said.

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


"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.

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

The current structure and system for developing elite rugby players and performance in the international arena is not working

Andy Robinson

"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."

Robinson also added that the set-up of the game in England needed to change if the national side was to flourish again.

"I leave very much hoping 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," he said.

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

RFU elite director Rob Andrew said the decision to axe Robinson was "made with a great deal of regret".

"Andy has made a significant contribution to England during the six years he has been involved with the side," he said.

1964: Born Taunton, 3 April
1986: Joins Bath
1988: Makes England debut against Australia
1992: Leads Bath to league and cup double in first season as captain
1997: Appointed Bath coach after resignation of Brian Ashton
1997: Sir Clive Woodward installed as his assistant at Bath
1998: Leads Bath to Heineken Cup glory with a 19-18 win over Brive
2000: Appointed assistant England coach
2000: Named as assistant coach for 2001 Lions tour to Australia
2003: Helps England secure the World Cup
October 2004: Appointed England coach

"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 18 November, England's recent results have not gone the way that Andy, the players, supporters and the RFU would have wished for."

Under Robinson, England have slipped to seventh in the International Rugby Board rankings, finished fourth in successive Six Nations championships and damaged their chances of retaining their world crown.

They have also lost eight of their last nine matches, one of the worst runs in the country's history.

The latest defeat came on Saturday, when the England players were booed off the Twickenham pitch following a 25-14 loss to an under-strength South Africa side.

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

Rob Andrew
RFU elite director

With less than 10 months to the start of the next World Cup in France, the focus will now swiftly turn to Robinson's successor.

World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson, former South Africa coach Nick Mallett, Harlequins coach Dean Richards and former Wasps and Ireland coach Warren Gatland have all been linked with the post.

So have Andrew and England attack coach Brian Ashton

Andrew later ruled himself out of the running, but agreed with Robinson that the structure of English rugby needs a complete overhaul.

"It's clear from the last two or three years that England have been left behind in the world game," he said.

"Our structures have allowed other countries to leapfrog England in terms of player preparation. That's obvious to everyone.

"We have to find an answer to a problem which has been ongoing throughout the 10 years of professional rugby.

"It's something that needs considering over the next few weeks but we won't be rushed on that."

Andrew rejects England job link
29 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union
England's era of decline
29 Nov 06 |  English
Road to ruin
29 Nov 06 |  English
Johnson calls for Robinson exit
19 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union
Trio sacked in England shake-up
27 Apr 06 |  Internationals
Robinson named new England coach
15 Oct 04 |  Internationals


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