Decision time looms for Robinson

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The Independent Online

Former England boss Andy Robinson could reveal today whether he will throw his hat into the ring for the vacant Scotland job.

Robinson has been on a break in France during which time he has pondered over the decision to put himself forward as Frank Hadden's successor, who stepped down earlier this month.

The Edinburgh head coach names his side for Friday's Magners League clash with Leinster this afternoon, when he will make his first public appearance since returning to the country.

And with the deadline for applications now less than a week away, the 45-year-old bookies' favourite knows it is decision time.

The strongwest indication that the former Bath stakwart could land the job came yesterday when Glasgow boss Sean Lineen, who was seen as Robinson's closest rival for the post, revealed he would not be applying and threw his weight behind his inter-city counterpart.

"I would be amazed if he didn't (apply)," Lineen said.

Former Scotland centre Lineen, who has worked alongside Robinson as a coach in the international set-up, added: "He's great; he's very hands on.

"I've learned a lot from him from doing one on ones with the players.

"He knows a lot about the game, is very, very enthusiastic about the game and very passionate about rugby and about his team - whatever it is - winning and getting the best from the players."

While Robinson might now appear the only viable candidate, the Scottish Rugby Union were keen to avoid a coronation and advertised for the position.

Lineen agreed with that decision, saying: "Obviously, it's got to be worldwide; you've got to go through the procedures and who knows what that throws up?

"But I've worked with Andy; I know what he can do."

Despite pulling out of the race this time, Lineen desperately wants the top job at some point in his career.

Asked when that might be, he said: "I'll know.

"And it's up to me to force the issue and make sure that I'm in the frame.

"But, at the moment, you look at where we are and you look at where Scotland is and there's a candidate there."

The 47-year-old Lineen, born in New Zealand but capped 29 times by Scotland, added: "You look at where you are in the coaching spectrum and I'm still learning.

"I've still got a long way to go and I'm working hard, learning with Glasgow.

"This is my third season with Glasgow.

"I'm big enough to admit I've made mistakes, I'm moving in the right direction and it takes time to build a squad.

"I'm really excited with what we've got.

"When you look at other candidates, what they are and what the Scotland team needs at the moment, it's not me and I think I need to concentrate on Glasgow."

Robinson's candidacy has not met with universal approval.

Despite being part of the England set-up which won the 2003 World Cup, the team went backwards at an alarming rate once he took charge.

But Lineen said: "We tend in Scotland to look at the bad things: Andy not having done that well with England.

"But when you think in our back yard, we have a World Cup-winning coach..."

Lineen also ruled out becoming Robinson's right-hand man should the Englishman get the job.

He said: "I think Andy's got his own ideas of what he wants to do if he does apply for it."

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