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Club Rugby

Robinson to leave Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks have confirmed World Cup winner Jason Robinson will leave the club at the end of this season.

The former England international has been part of Sale's coaching staff this term under the guidance of rugby director Kingsley Jones.

The Sharks have announced the appointment of ex-New Zealand All Blacks forward Mike Brewer as head coach, with Welshman Jones remaining in his post and now assuming responsibility for areas such as long-term squad planning and the club's academy.

Robinson said: "When Kingsley asked me to help out last year I felt that I couldn't let him or the club down in what was always going to be a very challenging season.

"While I had no plans to go into coaching, I was delighted to respond in the club's hour of need.

"Having now made sure that Sale Sharks will be playing Guinness Premiership rugby next year, I feel that the time is right to let another coach take up the mantle."

Sale are currently 11th in the Premiership, five points above Worcester, whose defeat against Leeds Carnegie last weekend meant they face relegation.

Brewer, who won 32 Test caps and played in the 1995 World Cup final, added: "Although results this season have been disappointing, I believe that this squad has tremendous potential to achieve great success in coming seasons."

Renowned scrummaging coach Phil Keith-Roach, meanwhile, will step down from Sale duties after deciding he could not commit to a full-time role at Edgeley Park.

Sale owner Brian Kennedy said: "This season we have failed to live up to our high standards and deliver the type of rugby that our fans expect.

"The board has conducted a thorough review of our rugby operations and decided to make changes to ensure that we hit the ground running next season and achieve an immediate and significant improvement in the quality of rugby played.

"With Kingsley taking responsibility for overall strategy and the appointment of Mike Brewer, who is an immensely experienced forwards coach, I believe that we have the right rugby management team to take the club forward to achieve future success.

"I would like to thank Jason Robinson and Phil Keith-Roach for their invaluable contribution in keeping Sharks in the Premiership in what has been an extremely tough season."