Robinson says SRU correct to take time
ANDY Robinson has backed assertions yesterday by the SRU and Jim Telfer, the former Scotland coach, that the union should not rush in and appoint him as Frank Hadden's successor.
The current Edinburgh coach is widely regarded to be the front-runner for the Scotland post and was yesterday made a clear favourite by a Scottish bookmaker, largely due to his Test-level experience.
However, the SRU made it clear that there was no done deal yet to appoint Robinson and that they would be appointing a panel of "suitable rugby expertise" to assess candidates, with Robinson having to apply for the post along with all other interested coaches.
Gordon McKie, the SRU chief executive, stated: "We are setting out on an open and exhaustive process to find the best person to coach the Scotland team.
"We will be advertising the post, initially on our own website next week and through other appropriate rugby channels. Recruitment will be a wide-ranging, extensive process in Scotland and beyond. We will bring together a panel comprising of suitable rugby expertise to assist in identifying the best candidate.
"The timescale is still being finalised but I would stress that Scotland's next international will be played in November and this affords us some time to ensure we secure the right person. This appointment is important for Scottish Rugby and the supporters and will not be rushed as we plan fully for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
"If he (Robinson] chooses to apply that's a matter for him not us. If he does we would benchmark him alongside other candidates."
Telfer, who had a 49 per cent success rate in two spells as Scotland's head coach in the 1980s and 1990s, admitted yesterday that he did not feel there was an obvious Scotsman who could replace Hadden. However, he warned against swift appointment of Robinson.
"Obviously, he's a coach who has performed at a higher level," he said, "but he did lose the England job because he wasn't successful, so I would look around a bit before jumping to any conclusions.
"Coaching the Scotland side isn't like coaching an English team. You have to know the environment you are going to be in. I wouldn't say Robinson's a shoo-in; he may be the cheapest option because he's already in Scotland.
"I don't think there's a Scotsman who could do the job at the moment, but I'm sure there are coaches around. In recent years, there hasn't been a great policy for developing Scottish-born coaches – we only have two teams and they're both being coached by foreigners (Robinson and New Zealander Sean Lineen]. There's a logjam for the development of young Scottish coaches because they don't have enough avenues for them to coach in."
Robinson, who was back in his familiar Murrayfield booth as Edinburgh coach last night, would not be drawn on whether he would apply for the post when it is advertised, but he would not rule it out either.
"I need time to go away and think about it," he said. "I have a week away next week with my family – my son is playing for the England under-18s down in Toulon – and I'm looking forward to spending time with them when we have a week off in the Magners League.
"For me, the important thing right now is that there should be praise given to Frank (Hadden] for what he has done in the last four years."
Asked about the SRU's plans and Telfer's comments, he said. "It's right that the SRU takes its time and looks at all the applications it gets.
"Jim Telfer is right to make the statement he has made and I have no issues with it at all. The SRU has to go out and find the right person for what is a key role and they should not rush into something like this."
Scottish internet bookmaker McBookie.com last night confirmed all bets taken since they opened a market on the new Scotland coach last month were laid on Robinson.
Their odds have been slashed from 8/1 just a fortnight ago to 4/1 this week and now even-money favourite.
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