Jason Robinson takes charge at Sale

Jason Robinson has been appointed head coach of Sale Sharks for next season, it was announced today.

Former England star Robinson will return to the club where he spent seven years as a player after agreeing a two-year deal to join the Edgeley Park management team.

The 34-year-old, a former Great Britain rugby league international, retired after England's defeat by South Africa in the 2007 World Cup final.

He will work beneath Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones, who will replaces the outgoing Philippe Saint-Andre at the end of the season.

Phil Keith-Roach, former scrummaging coach with England under Sir Clive Woodward, has also joined the Sharks.

Jones said: "It's fantastic news for the club that Jason has agreed to join the coaching staff.

"It's no coincidence that the three years that Jason was captain were the most successful in the club's history."

Robinson was adored by Sale fans after leading the club to the Guinness Premiership title in 2006.

His dazzling footwork and acceleration marked him out as one of the game's most exciting players and helped England to their 2003 World Cup triumph.

A veteran of two Lions tours - making five appearances - he won 51 caps for England, who also recognised his leadership skills by handing him the captaincy.

Robinson's return is a coup for Jones as the former Wigan winger known as 'Billy Whizz' offered no previous indication that he intended pursuing a career in coaching.

He has negligible coaching experience but Sale will be welcome the return of one of their favourite sons during a testing phase in their history.

Club stalwarts Jason White, Sebastien Chabal and Sebastien Bruno will join Saint-Andre through the exit in May so Robinson's appointment is well timed.