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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 16:58 GMT
Robinson to remain in England job
By Simon Austin

Andy Robinson
Robinson has been heavily criticised following the defeat by France
Andy Robinson has been assured he will lead England into the 2007 World Cup by the head of the Rugby Football Union.

But RFU chairman Martyn Thomas has promised a shake-up of the England set-up which could see the introduction of a manager to assist Robinson.

Thomas told BBC Sport: "Andy's got a contract to the end of the World Cup. I see no logic in committing coaching suicide as per the Welsh."

And Robinson said he had no intention of "dying on his sword".

"Last Sunday was very disappointing, obviously," Robinson added.

"You either sink under all the pressure or stand up and put on a performance and move on from there."

Robinson and his coaching team have been under heavy pressure following England's 31-6 defeat by France on Sunday.

Thomas said England's coaching structure would be examined at the end of the Six Nations.

"The whole aspect of how we manage the England team has to be looked at," he said.

"England fans can expect a thorough review of where we are and the personnel involved.

Charlie Hodgson is clearly gifted - but we seem to have an ability to put the ball down the throat of the fastest person in the opposition
Martyn Thomas

"Whether that means personnel leaving their existing tasks or additional personnel being put in, I cannot pre-empt the results of that review.

"I still believe that fundamentally we have good honest people in place, but we can't remain in the position we are in.

"That would not be acceptable and I think everyone's job comes under the spotlight."

Thomas said there was a strong chance of a manager being appointed to assist Robinson after the Six Nations.

"In fairness - and I'm sure Clive (Woodward, former England head coach) would be the first to acknowledge - Andy was the coach and hands-on man who delivered the World Cup for England," Thomas said.

"Andy in effect moved up and took over Clive's job [when Woodward stepped down in September 2004].

"I'm sure that Andy himself would like to see some support for some of the jobs he is now having to do.

"He is to a large extent hands-on and also having to deal with managerial responsibilities that Clive took on.

"Andy has not become a bad coach post the World Cup. I don't blame him for what happened on Sunday."

Thomas said much of the blame for England's heavy defeat in Paris should rest with the players - and he was critical of some in particular.

I know people have honed in on the backs, but greater minds than mine, like Sean Fitzpatrick, have said the front row is not delivering
Martyn Thomas

"Twenty-two professional rugby players, not one new cap among them, travelled to France, and I think they would be the first to admit they did not perform," he said.

"I know people have honed in on the backs, but greater minds than mine, like Sean Fitzpatrick, have turned round and said the front row is not delivering.

"Our second row has probably been the most successful [part of the team]. Our back row has not been sufficiently aggressive.

"We've clearly got problems at half back. Our service from the base of the scrum and from the set piece and breakdowns has been slow.

"Charlie Hodgson is clearly a gifted player but we do seem to have an ability while kicking out of hand to put the ball down the throat of the fastest person on the opposition side, which in international rugby you cannot do."




SEE ALSO
Big names demand England shake-up
14 Mar 06 |  Six Nations
Robinson condemns 'awful' England
12 Mar 06 |  Six Nations
France 31-6 England
12 Mar 06 |  Six Nations


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