THE SRU was today urged to install Scotland coach Andy Robinson as Murrayfield’s ‘director of rugby’.
Pressure is building on Robinson following seven straight international defeats and failure to progress from the World Cup group stages for the first time.
While admitting turmoil is now inevitable in Scottish rugby, Heriot’s player Alan Dymock, a member of Scotland’s club international side, insists ways exist to minimise fall-out and keep the game on a more even keel.
Writing on the Scottish Rugby Blog, Dymock said: “If Robinson walks, there will be turmoil. Scott Johnson (hired as of this summer as attack coach) could walk, too. Other people could have to answer questions about the long-term vision for Scotland, not to mention cough up a lot of money in pay-offs. Conversely, if he (Robinson) stays, he or the SRU could lose credibility. But Robinson could take a step upstairs in the coming weeks to a director of rugby position.”
Making it clear that this would only be a way out of any impasse where Robinson has lost public confidence after the worst run of results since 1988 while honouring the coach’s current contract, Dymock says: “If no one is going to say that Scotland must accept that our players make up a second tier team in international terms – something even the most depressed of thistle wearers are wary of stating – then Robinson must shoulder the cross.
“But there could be ways of escaping it. The coaches under him are leaving and there is a spate of new players. The baying crowd are told of progress in attempts to quell their blood lust. Political moves like shifting Sean Lineen can momentarily turn the crowd’s heads. Robinson could take a step upstairs in the coming weeks, to a Director of Rugby position (putting a title to a role he already holds).”
And Dymock maintains: “After Saturday’s limp performance in Rome I spoke to a professional rugby player. He said that from what he had heard ‘The SRU is now like the United States of Andy Robinson’.”
Part of the Scottish Rugby Blog states: “Alan hopes to give an insight into Scottish Premier Club rugby and the broader game” – and the latest instalment is certainly incisive in addressing difficulties.
Dymock, who was included in Glasgow’s squad for a RaboDirect Pro 12 match with Scarlets this season without progressing to the match-day line-up, said: “Andy Robinson’s record now stands out like tap shoes in an abbey. He has led his team to failure in all of this year’s Six Nations games and understandably is considering his position. The problem is, however, that Scotland’s head coach has a position unlike most other coaches in international rugby.
“Robinson has a fireguard of a contract and has surrounded himself with people that can solidify his position. Pro coaches have been shifted around without positions even being advertised, and he certainly had a hand in that. When he first arrived everyone intoned that Scotland had poached themselves a real star coach.
“If his (Robinson’s) pride swells and he gets a-swallowing he could walk. There is only so much embarrassment a competitive man can take. (But) What if he walks? Well, with young promising individuals like Gray, Denton, Scott, Hogg, Weir, Welsh, Jones and Visser, Scotland could very well compete in the future, but before such a time there would be political issues.
“In a move to further insulate Robinson’s position, there have been the signings of new Australian coaches. If Robinson jumps, what will happen with Scott Johnson and Matt Taylor?”