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England 'to force Robinson out'


Jenjie

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Andy Robinson has had his last game as England coach, according to BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

England have lost eight of their last nine matches and a "well-placed" source has told the programme Robinson will be asked to resign or face the sack.

 

First choice as replacement is World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson.

 

But if Johnson is not available, former Wasps and Ireland coach Warren Gatland or ex-South Africa coach Nick Mallett will come into the frame.

 

England have lost 13 of their 22 Tests under Robinson - including three of this month's four autumn internationals - and have slumped to seventh in the IRB world rankings.

 

Robinson's team were booed off the pitch by the Twickenham crowd for the second time in three matches after their 25-14 defeat against South Africa on Saturday.

 

After the match, Robinson again insisted he had no intention of walking away from the job and said he wanted to remain in charge for next year's Six Nations.

 

Robinson was assistant coach to Sir Clive Woodward and a key part of the coaching team which won the World Cup in 2003.

 

And when Woodward resigned in September 2004, Robinson was the RFU's unanimous choice to take over.

 

The 42-year-old, who has a contract until June 2008, has led England to two consecutive fourth place finishes in the Six Nations, and has won just one away match.

 

The RFU conducted a review after the 2006 Six Nations, and Robinson survived despite assistant coaches Phil Larder, Dave Alred and Joe Lydon all losing their jobs.

 

Brian Ashton (attack), John Wells (forwards) and Mike Ford (defence) have since been appointed under Robinson, while Rob Andrew has taken on the elite director of rugby role.

 

But the changes have failed to spark a revival in England's fortunes, and former England captain Will Carling said Robinson would have to go.

 

"I'm an England fan and after the four games in November, I haven't witnessed a lot of improvement," he told Sportsweek.

 

"I think it is time for a change in the coach - not because of the last four games, or even the last two games, but because of the last two years.

 

"If you look at England over the last two years, we don't seem to have any combinations that are working and Andy Robinson has to take responsibility for that."

 

But Carling said there needed to be much greater clarity in terms of the specific job description of anyone brought in to replace Robinson.

 

"I don't believe we need another coach - we need a manager," said Carling.

 

"We need someone who can get the environment right and I think Martin Johnson would be good for that.

 

"But whether he wants to step straight into that is another thing. He's got some superb qualities, but it depends what the remit of the job is."

 

Johnson has gone on record as saying Robinson should be replaced.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/6185090.stm

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