Andy Robinson: Bristol name ex-Scotland boss as director of rugby

Former England and Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has been appointed director of rugby at Championship outfit Bristol.

The 48-year-old quit his job with Scotland in November and joins Bristol on a four-year deal.


Bristol are getting a top-quality coach in Robinson.

He's been involved in international rugby for just over a decade, and the intensity and expectation of having those roles can be tiring.

By going back to club rugby you can have much more of an impact, and I think he's looking forward to getting his tracksuit back on.

This move shows the fans what the club's intentions are. You can't expect miracles immediately, but it would be great if Bristol got back in the top flight. It will really say something about West Country rugby.

Current head coach Liam Middleton will work alongside Robinson, who will start his tenure on 1 March.

Middleton has been in charge since 2011, and his side are currently fourth in English rugby's second tier.

The former Premiership club have made no secret of their desire to regain their place in the top flight, but have been left frustrated by losing out in the final stages of the play-offs twice in the last three years.

Robinson told BBC Radio Bristol: "I like the ambition of the club. Their values align to mine and I wanted to come to a place where I was going to enjoy my work.

"Coming here and being able to work alongside Liam, I feel like I can really make a difference to the club. We want to develop Bristol as a team - both on and off the field."

Taunton-born Robinson spent his 11-year playing career with Bristol's local rivals, Bath, and was capped eight times by England.

He then went on to join the backroom staff at The Rec, before working as forwards coach for England under Sir Clive Woodward, helping mastermind the 2003 World Cup victory in Australia.

I feel like I can really make a difference to the club - we want to develop Bristol as a team both on and off the field

Andy Robinson

Robinson succeeded Woodward as head coach - a position he held between 2004 and 2006 - before a two-year stint with Edinburgh, which led to him being appointed as Scotland boss in 2009.

But he ended his three-and-a-half year reign after a disappointing autumn series, which saw his side lose to New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga.

Robinson was in attendance at the Memorial Stadium for Bristol's 30-20 bonus-point win over Rotherham on Sunday - a result which moved them back up into the play-off places.

Bristol are backed by Bristol City majority shareholder Steve Lansdown and recently announced plans to ground-share with the football club, either at Ashton Gate or a new stadium at Ashton Vale.