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Robinson quits as Scotland coach after Tonga loss

609   //    25 Nov 2012, 18:52 IST


Andy Robinson had been under contract to coach Scotland until 2015

Andy Robinson at the match between Scotland and Tonga at Pittodrie in Aberdeen on Saturday. The Scotland coach has resigned a day after his side lost to Tonga, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) announced on Sunday.

Scotland coach Andy Robinson has resigned a day after his side lost to Tonga, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) announced on Sunday.

The Englishman had been under contract until after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but the 21-15 upset loss to the Tongans in Aberdeen meant that the Scots had lost 10 of their last 13 matches, including elimination from the World Cup at the group phase for the first time.

They also lost their three November internationals, all at home, to New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga.

In a statement issued by the SRU, Robinson, who was appointed in June 2009, said: “It’s been a privilege to be the head coach of Scotland and I’d like to thank the fans, players, coaches and staff for all their support over the years.

Scotland's Matthew Scott, seen here after his team's loss against Tonga

Dejected Scotland’s player Matthew Scott, seen at the final whistle during their rugby union Test match against Tonga at Pittodrie in Aberdeen. Tonga won 21-15.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the players and the coaches in the last few years.

“I believe I have left the team in a better position than when I took over and have great confidence in the players and the coaches for the future.

“I am very disappointed by our recent results but I have belief in the players to develop into a winning team.”

Robinson was given a vote of confidence after the early World Cup exit in New Zealand, but despite high hopes Scotland slumped to a wooden spoon in the Six Nations, losing all five games.

There then followed encouragement in the form of wins on the June tour to Australia, Fiji and Samoa, but a 51-22 loss to New Zealand, a 21-10 reverse to South Africa and the Tonga debacle leaves Scotland a lowly 12th in the world rankings.

The defeat against Tonga was especially galling for Robinson, who struggled to contain his emotions at his post-match press conference,

Tongan players celebrate their victory over Scotland

Tongan players celebrate victory at the final whistle during their rugby union Test match against Scotland at Pittodrie in Aberdeen. Tonga won 21-15.

“That was totally unacceptable out there. I am very angry — I apologise to all Scotland fans,” .

“There will be consequences, but I will not reveal what they will be.”

When asked if the aftermath would include his own future, Robinson replied: “I will look at everything.

“I have got a contract until 2015 — but there needs to be consequences after this.

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, stated: “Following the sequence of recent results during the EMC Autumn Tests a change in head coach is required to take the team forward and build towards the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

“Andy has overseen some fine results as Scotland head coach since he was appointed in June 2009 but the recent defeats have been very disappointing.

The search for Robinson’s successor will begin immediately, with assistant coach Scott Johnson a possible contender.

Former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett may also consider the role worth the challenge.

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