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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 December 2006, 10:32 GMT
Robinson 'chose wrong approach'
Phil Larder
Andy said the players were going to have far more influence - I objected straight away

Phil Larder
Andy Robinson's faith in player power ultimately cost him his job as England head coach, according to former defensive coach Phil Larder.

Robinson left the post this week after a disastrous 25-month spell in charge.

Larder told the Guardian newspaper: "I felt from that moment Andy Robinson had taken us down the wrong avenue.

"He had a group of senior players he was listening to and were leading him rather than how Clive Woodward used to operate with his senior coaches."

Larder was part of the England coaching set up until April when he was axed along with Joe Lydon and Dave Alred following a review of the team's poor Six Nations performance.

But the 61-year-old believes Robinson sowed the seeds of his own downfall at a meeting in August last year when he announced big changes for the side.

"Andy said it was going to be player-led and the players were going to have far more influence," added Larder, who now helps out at Worcester one day a week.

England coach Andy Robinson
Larder blames Robinson for not showing enough faith in his coaches
"I objected straight away. I said if you go down this route with the present group of players we are going to have real problems.

"I had been totally happy working with England, very honoured.

"The coaching set-up under Clive Woodward was absolutely superb, and we were very lucky that we had a group of players who had a fabulous work ethic: Martin Johnson, Neil Back, Richard Hill, Jason Leonard, Jonny Wilkinson."

606 DEBATE: Do you agree with Larder?

But Larder saw the 2005 squad differently and felt Robinson's action would undermine the basic skills that England needed to work on.

"I said it was a group we had to inspire and get far, far more effort from them than we were getting at the moment.

"One of the key parts of my job is one-on-one tackling and at this meeting I was told the players weren't allowed to do one-on-one tackling any more.

"Clive had trusted me and let me do what I thought was right, so every time England trained they would do a little bit of one-on-one.

"It helped make them world champions. Now that all had to stop."

"If the players wanted to do it, they could come to me afterwards. I thought this was absolutely bloody ridiculous.

"Three or four would come regularly at the end of the session but to be honest they weren't the players I needed to work with."

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01 Dec 06 |  Rugby Union
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30 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union
Larder to help out at Worcester
15 Nov 06 |  Worcester
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29 Nov 06 |  English
Road to ruin
29 Nov 06 |  English
Will Woodward return to rugby?
27 Apr 06 |  Internationals
Trio sacked in England shake-up
27 Apr 06 |  Internationals


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