Andy Robinson appointed director of rugby at Bristol

Former England and Scotland coach returns to rugby

Former England and Scotland coach Andy Robinson has been appointed as Bristol's new director of rugby.

The Championship club announced today that 48-year-old Robinson will start work on March 1.

He watched Bristol beat Rotherham at the Memorial Stadium yesterday, with the west country club remaining on course to make this season's promotion play-offs.

Robinson resigned as Scotland boss following a dismal autumn series earlier this season that culminated in a defeat against Tonga after losses to New Zealand and South Africa.

But Bristol chairman Chris Booy has been in discussion with the ex-Bath and England flanker for several weeks, culminating in today's announcement.

Robinson was a member of England's coaching staff under Sir Clive Woodward during the successful 2003 World Cup campaign, and then he succeeded Woodward in the top job between 2004 and 2006.

He has also coached Bath and Edinburgh, leading Bath to the 1998 Heineken Cup final, when they beat Brive in Bordeaux to be crowned European champions.

"I am delighted to be joining Bristol Rugby at such an exciting time for the club," Robinson said.

"I firmly believe that with the passion for rugby in the region and the vision of the owners, Bristol has the potential to be one of the most successful sides in England.

"I am looking forward to building a squad with a blend of experience and young, home-grown talent, to play an exciting and winning brand of rugby.

"Our immediate objective is to achieve promotion back to the Aviva Premiership as soon as possible."

Bristol have confirmed that Liam Middleton will continue as head coach, while recent news signings for next season include Gloucester flanker Peter Buxton, Northampton lock Mark Sorenson and Worcester full-back Errie Claassens.

Bristol, who are backed by Guernsey-based millionaire Steve Lansdown, are looking to regain Premiership status next season, although Newcastle remain firm Championship title favourites.

Booy said: "Since Steve Lansdown has become involved with the club (during the 2008-09 season) we have been very serious about what where we want to be, but it has been difficult to attract the right players and somebody like Andy.

"This appointment shows that we are serious. We want the best people to do the best jobs, and that is not just director of rugby, but also players.

"Andy's appointment shows that we are going to get there, and there are no more ifs, but it's when.

"We have signed four Premiership players and we have a good squad here, but we need Premiership players. We are talking to another five or six, and we back the investment in players to go along with it.

"We are delighted that Andy is joining us as director of rugby. Liam has done a good job - he has put us in a good place - and he is going to work with Andy. We think that is a winning combination.

"This is a long-term appointment, and Andy's experience speaks for itself.

"He is a world-class coach, an England World Cup and Heineken Cup winner. His credentials are as good as anybody, and we now have one of the best coaches in the world at the club.

"We need to get going quickly because we cannot be in this league any longer than we have to be. Andy's appointment says that we are not going to be here, we are going to get out of this.

"The rugby infrastructure of this city means that we can be one of the great clubs in Europe. We have spent many weeks over the matter before Andy agreed to join us, though he has had a number of other offers."

Bristol recently announced plans to ground-share with Bristol City Football Club, where Lansdown is the majority share-holder, either at Ashton Gate or a new stadium at Ashton Vale.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
News
Neglect, prejudice and invisibility in the classrooms and playground is a way of life for LGBT children
education
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks
tv

Regular cast member Ste Hay, played by Kieron Richardson, is about to test TV boundaries

Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
techPerils of 'text neck' revealed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager
Isis in Iraq: Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants

Isis takes a big step back

Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants
Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?