Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Andy Robinson Quits As Scotland Coach

Andy Robinson
Andy Robinson - pic © Scottish Rugby Blog

Here’s the SRU press release:


Andy Robinson has decided to step down from the role as Head Coach of the Scotland national team with immediate effect.

He said: “It’s been a privilege to be the Head Coach of Scotland and I’d like to thank the fans, players, coaches and staff for all their support over the years.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the players and the coaches in the last few years.

“I believe I have left the team in a better position than when I took over and have great confidence in the players and the coaches for the future.

“I am very disappointed by our recent results but I have belief in the players to develop into a winning team.”

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, stated: “Following the sequence of recent results during the EMC Autumn Tests a change in Head Coach is required to take the team forward and build towards the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

“I have passed onto Andy Scottish Rugby’s thanks for his hard work and commitment during his term as national coach.

“Andy has overseen some fine results as Scotland Head Coach since he was appointed in June 2009 but the recent defeats have been very disappointing.

“Andy is an outstanding leader and a fine coach and we wish him well.

“I’d like to thank our fans for their great support during the Autumn Tests and look forward to welcoming them to Murrayfield for the home games against Italy, Ireland and Wales in the 2013 RBS 6 Nations.”

Scottish Rugby will begin the recruitment process for a new Head Coach with immediate effect.

There will be no further comment from Scottish Rugby at this stage.


So there you have it, our own reaction will follow through the week.

33 Responses

  1. Andy robinson – Loyal soldier go in peace – il buy you a pint anytime – some of our finest moments were with you – Highland Scots do not forget

    1. Who are you kidding – he was a joke from day 1 – his record is deplorable. Kind words – but I’m afraid sadly misplaced

    2. Agree, he was a muppet. Lost us our best chance at knocking england out of a WC by recalling Parks of all people. I could never forgive him after that and he has just gotten worse anyway.

    3. If you think of Scotland’s biggest victories over the last few years the man right at the centre of all of them is the same Dan Parks you seam to hate so much.

    4. haha Not a chance, the southern hemispher victorys were won from pure defence just cause he was the 10 that kicked what 3 penalties didnt make him the reason we won. He lost us countless games with his pointless kicking and terrible passing/running and then got recalled for the WC and did the same thing again leading to us getting relegated. So I am afraid I have to disagere with you there and I am shocked you dont agree.

  2. Cheerio Andy. First time I seen your face was when you took the England job and I thought you were a typical pompous English rugby tw4t! You proved me wrong by showing you’re a stand up guy and rallying our small pool of players into a competitive team, sadly too few victories when it mattered. All the best to you on your next venture.

  3. A good man who on occasion has been let down by players not performing.
    Thank you for some good memories.
    Amazing how quickly things change and the wave of optimism generated from Edinburgh’s HC run, The summer tour and the improved budgets for the pro sides has completely evaporated in the space of a few months.

  4. Good luck to AR a decent guy who perhaps deserved more than the current group of players can produce.

  5. He should never have been appointed in the first place – Dodson has to go as well – totally inept – bringing our game to the laughing stock category. Robinson – bringing on some young untried Englishman at a crucial stage in the match defied belief. The irony is we can have a reasonable team if correct players and tactics chosen. It’s got to be Lineen now.

    1. Clear them out, your right. Dont know about Lineen though. Correct as well about the untried player been thrown in. I think Scottish Rugby is heading down the terrible spiral of “its not how you play, its who you know”

      Robbie Deans or Henry for coach, its not impossible.

  6. Did the honorable thing which I expected given his good character.

    He was sorely let down by the players he stood by time after time.

    I would prefer to let Lineen have a shot, but I’m worried that the SRU may turn to the expensive newly in place AR right hand man johnson as a stop gap measure for the 6N. Not too many ospreys fans think much of him having been tagged with milking cuddys money for years only to move on once that money pot disappeared. He is definately not head coach material.

    I’m for Lineen clearing out the dead wood and building a new team for the future. I wouldn’t have minded last years wooden spoon if we had introduced many more of the younger players with an eye towards the next world cup. A year wasted in my view.

    The SRU can’t afford to dither, the 6N is just around the corner. The new man needs to be in the job immediately. Luckily Lineen is in the building is he not?

  7. Thank God he’s gone.

    SRU needs to make the correct decision now. I hear Lineen name been thrown around because of his passion.

    Scotland needs a Southern Hemisphere coach, simple as that.

    Should snap Henry up.

    Come on Scotland, make it enjoyable for once to watch.

    1. “Snap Henry up”? Are you living in cloud cuckoo land? Do you really think a World Cup winning coach ould leave NZ to come to Scotland to coach that dross? Tell you what, lets resurrect the ghost of Carwyn Jones while we are at it! Be realistic. The coach is immaterial when the basic coaching set up at all levels does not work. Skills, rather than strength based coaching together with school and club rugby played in spring and summer months MUST be introduced.

  8. Respect to Andy Robinson for having the integrity to know his position had become untenable and falling on his sword. You have to also commend the amount of work he put into the job and beating Aus at Murrayfield was a moment that will live long in my memory.

    That said I think he is a better coach than selector. His loyalty to certain underperformer’s and inability to bring in form players in a timely fashion has cost him.

    There is a foundation of excellent young players available to whoever takes over. The 9, 10, 12, 13 axis is still the mystery for the new coach to solve as key to future success.

  9. Mixed feelings on this one! After attending the final Six Nations match in Rome this season I swore blind that I would not purchase tickets for the autumn tests, and as usual went to all three!! For years I have followed Scottish rugby home and away and all the time I have this misguided faith that we are going to do something special. The only match I can remember anything special happening was stopping the Irish triple crown at their last match in Croke Park, Dublin.

    I have met Andy Robinson on a few occasions and have always found him passionate about Scotland and Scottish Rugby. I really feel that the blame lays with the players for under performance and not the tactics they have tried to deploy.

    The question now is who replaces Andy Robinson and who would really want to!!

  10. I think that he had to go, the results speak for themselves. Seemed a good guy but some of the tactics, substitutions and selections he made during his tender were very poor.

    That said most of the blame must rest with the players. On Saturday from the very start of the game it looked like they thought they could just turn up and beat Tonga. No personal responsibility or commitment and I am very sorry to say this about a Scotland team – ZERO passion. As for the basic skill levels…

    What should happen now;
    New coach & coaching team: I hope this is someone from totally outside the old boys/ school tie network of Scottish rugby. Picking the squad truly on current form would be a start!
    Lots of names going around (most of which wouldn’t want the job or are unaffordable), I would go for Eddie O’Sullivan.

    Third Pro Team (Perhaps this needs to start as a development team if the money isn’t there): Based in Aberdeen, they have sold out every Scotland match held in the city, larger population than the borders and perhaps most importantly a population with lots of disposable income and a well-established corporate hospitality culture – I have been told that >70% of hospitality at Murrayfield come from the AB postcode area. Has this not happened yet because a pro team with high levels of outside funding may not need the SRU and become outside their control?

    Clubs feeding into the 3 pro sides: Official links between ALL clubs and their nearest pro side. Youngsters with potential training with the pro teams or at least exposed to the pro culture.

    More exposure for Scottish rugby: Why do I have to watch our teams play on Welsh TV?? Are we looking at internet based options?

    Move on more players to France or England: Those that are reaching the end of their pro career or need the exposure to reach the next level should be moved on from the Edinburgh/ Glasgow setup. This has the added benefit of “star wages” coming off the books, provides opportunities for other young players to come through and also increases the professional player base. Needs to be done very carefully so as to not weaken the pro sides.

    1. Funny you should mention the AB post code area, wife and I were invited by the SRU to the test match against Australia (WE WON!) we live in Aberdeen and I mentioned to one of the SRU ‘bigwigs’ over dinner about the possibility of a third pro team in Scotland based north of Edinburgh. He gave me a look as if I had just sworn at him and had threatened to burn down the P.E. departments of Heriots and Fettes Schools!!

    2. Interesting idea Paulg

      Given the large population of students and rugby playing community in Dundee, Perth and Aberdeen, I’d of thought a Tayside/Aberdeenshire combined team would financially viable.

      Having gone to Uni in Dundee, the lack of alternative activities to drinking the Union dry would have encouraged people like myself to take up an offer on tickets priced at say £10 a throw for students.

      If the team travelled between Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen, you might have real potential there.

    3. It’s mainly Oil Companies that buy up the Corporate Hospitality packages at Murrayfield so no surprise that 70% of hospitality comes from AB post code.

      A Caley Reds Side operating on a much smaller budget than Glasgow and Edinburgh would be a sensible next step. Has potential to grow with corporate backing. “The Caledonia Reds” is also a great brand name, a marketers dream. Could play at Pittodrie, or the new Aberdeen Stadium if it ever gets built. Awesome training facility at Aberdeen Sports Village.

      What’s the hold up?!

  11. I think AR should have been released after the WC and most poor results have been his fault, and good results (mixture of weather and luck).
    Let’s look at the facts, under Robinson we have had our worst six nations and our worst world cup (going out to a poor England side as Dan Parks was recalled from retirement) that was all down to poor coaching.

    Now lets look at tactics, all the box kicking, all the predictable running off the 9, terrible chasing and against tonga, weak rucking. The attacking line fell to pieces and the defensive line wasn’t much better. It looked like a team with no direction and where there was some it was wrong. That, to me, is all down to poor coaching.

    Then you move on to selection. Only names were picked, for the 6N and the WC. Hogg had to score a 60m try to get selected, fusaro (Scottish open side) gets ignored even when he is Glasgow’s top performer.
    Moving Laidlaw to 10 like Edinburgh was suspect as lots of the 6N tries came from his weak defence (not his fault but having 2 Srum Half’s on is hard). Then moving Lamont to centre (I class as one of best wings) who doesn’t pass I never understood. yes he got over the gain line but he did that on the wing and his distribution/decision making are not good enough for the centre. Also what is with de luca starting every match even off form?

    So as you can see I feel that AR has got away with some of the blame here with the players doing the professional thing and taking it themselves (which is funny as that is the coaches job as well haha). He was a great forwards coach and that was what we needed when he joined, he did his best but he English game of all kicking never suited Scotland (I shudder to remember parks).

    Good luck to him, but in the politest way possible, good riddance!

  12. Sorry to see Andy go, he seemed decent and passionate – the reaction shots of him in the box will be sadly missed.

    I’ve not agreed with all of his selections, but he had a pretty limited pool to choose from, and injuries in some key positions have not helped.

    New management has a big problem to solve in front 3 and 9, 10, 12, 13, especially.

    Time is short to prepare for 2015, so i’d hope someone is appointed sooner rather than later – preferably before the 6N.

    1. I don’t think there is much of a problem in the front three. We have good props in Grant, Welsh, Cross and Low. I have not seen much of Reid but have heard he is a good prospect too.

      At hooker Ford has to remain first choice. Someone just needs to sort out the demons in his head as regards lineout throws. Other than that we should have backup hookers from McArthur, Gilles and Walker bypassing the useless Lawson and Hall.

  13. Henry? Good lord I hope so but I think that is an utter fantasy!

    We need not only a passionate man in charge, but a horrible hardman that will bully them into shape. Game to game the players need to be in fear of losing thier place in the squad, every game. We are not as short on players as we say we are, in my opionion that’s an excuse.

    We have capable players and can be good but we need to be trying all combinations and giving young guys a chance. This 6N, build a squad on winning teams and performing players.

  14. nonononononoNO! Just because the likes of Henry has one the ultimate in International rugby, doesn’t mean he is necessarily the best man for the job. He did so with a group of players that are way above our standard. He would crumble in disappointment, trying to turn mediocre players into world beaters. We need someone who has international experience of this.

    I think they just need someone who will go in there and scare the sh1t out of the, like Telfer used to. Scottish squads have always responded best to that. A real commander who demands NOTHING but the BEST or you’re off! Zero tolerance of poor performances.

  15. Definitely not Lineen. If you were to ask any Glasgow player for their opinion of him it would not be good. His appointment would be a further backward step

  16. Can you think of a better candidate for the top job than our own Chris Paterson?
    A truly amazing player, a tremendous ambassador for the Scottish team, he knows the rugby game inside out and someone that ALL the players (here, and to come) respect and admire…..!!!
    Somebody, anybody, put his name forward and give us a chance to WIN, WIN, WIN!!!

    1. Sorry David and Julie, but you actually need coaching experience and creditials to coach a provincial team let alone a Rabo 12 or a NATIONAL TEAM!! Mossy is a lovely guy and has been a great player in recent times with scottish rugby but he is employed within the SRU in a PR role!!

      In lay mans terms what you are requesting is that if Alex Salmond was to stand down as first minister Tommy Sheridan would fill the gap!! Also one of the attributes that Andy Robinson had was his ‘headmaster’ attitude towards the players and not their ‘mates’ or out of rugby drinking and social buddies!

  17. Don’t have a scooby as to who is the best man for the job but whoever it is the 6 Nations will come too soon to show a radical change in tactics, players or philosophy. Geech is being talked of as interim which sounds sensible but we need to be focusing on the World Cup and use every game as part of the learning process we need to go through to make us competitive. Get rid of Dodson and get more ex internationals involved,they have the experience to help develop off and on the pitch.

  18. You can’t just blame Robbo. He has a limited amount of quality players to choose from. However he has made a lot of bad selection choices over the years which have confused the Scottish public.

    Scotland777 is right thought. We either need a 3rd team in Aberdeen or the SRU need to throw some weight and funding behind a better district championship that bridges the gap between Club and Pro team. A blend of Pro Development/squad players and the best of the Club players, playing over the same weekend as 6Nations for example, will increase public interest and provide increased competition for our next generation of players and coaches.

    1. If homegrown players haven’t come through the age group system they are up against it. Best outside-half on the Scottish club scene is Lee Miller at Gala,scores tries and kicks points for fun but he has no chance of getting into the pro set up because he hasn’t come through the system. How many others can that be said of. The money just isn’t there for a third team and there isn’t the strengthen depth of Scottish players to make it anything other than a development side but maybe that’s what is needed. Get rid off Scott Johnson now he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near to our international setup.

    2. Two pro teams just are not enough, it only needs a couple of injuries to key players and we are really struggling. The money MUST be found somehow.
      I am sure that with a bit of thought and planning a third pro/ development team could be done without the entire funding coming from the SRU. The potential is there for a North/ Aberdeen based team which generates a large percentage of its own operating costs.

      The other point I made before was that ALL clubs should be tied to a Pro team; so for example, even if Lee Miller isn’t on an Edinburgh contract he is still linked to the club via Gala and is helped to develop as a player through training with the Pros (when possible), diet, match analysis, etc. Even if he doesn’t step up to the Pro ranks it raises the standard of rugby at club level. Which can only be a good thing.

    3. There certainly needs to be a better pathway for Club players to reach a Professional level.

      I still like the idea of recreating the District competition underneath the Pro teams as a solution. Rather than spoonfeeding ALL players which may cost more than the SRU want to spend. This 4 or 5 team competition would take the best Club players with the most potential and give them additional coaching, nutrition, skills training etc.

      Ideally there would also be additional funding provided to allow those players to be semi-pro, but in the short term, this doesnt have to be in place.

      This District Comp would then hopefully stimulate the fanbase of Amateur Clubs to come out and support “their” man on the pitch. It would also act as a test bed for the SRU to develop that 3rd and hopefully 4th Pro teams.

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