Robbo walks the plank
December 3, 2006
Paul Ackford gives the run-down on Andy Robinson's "resignation" as England head coach:
Andy Robinson's protracted departure began on Sunday with a series of phone calls from Rob Andrew and John Spencer, chairman of Club England. Both men effectively told Robinson that his time was up following England's 25-14 defeat by South Africa and that he should step down. Robinson's initial reaction was to fight. He remained convinced in his ability to turn England around and argued passionately that he retained the confidence of his squad and his assistant coaches despite presiding over a run of 13 defeats in 22 matches since October 2004. Andrew was the man who pulled the trigger. He told Robinson the debate had moved on and that the decision-makers in the RFU would not back him in his struggle to continue. Andrew advised Robinson to think carefully how he wanted to handle the situation. [...]
Another explanation for England's decline was that Robinson's manner inhibited his squad. Nicknamed 'The Growler', he was so intense in his behaviour, so obsessed with getting things right that it put huge psychological pressure on his players, especially the younger members of his squad. It is no coincidence that one of Andrew's objectives is to loosen up England training, to move away from the dogmatic, oppressive environment in which Robinson operated.