Andy Robinson confirmed as Bristol Rugby's new boss - and is relishing Liam Middleton link-up
ANDY Robinson is relishing the opportunity to forge a successful partnership with Liam Middleton after becoming Bristol Rugby’s new director of rugby.
The former England and Scotland head coach was – as exclusively revealed in Friday’s Post – appointed Bristol’s director of rugby at a press conference today.
Middleton will continue as head coach, working alongside Robinson, who has signed a deal with Bristol until the summer of 2017.
The duo will be charged with returning Bristol to the Aviva Premiership – with chairman Chris Booy’s ultimate ambition being to see his club return to the top four in the Premiership.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
And Robinson, who takes up his position on March 1, said: “From the meetings I’ve had so far with Liam, I’ve been really pleased with the discussions we’ve had.
“I’m looking forward to working with him and the other coaches, the management and the players to create a successful team.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be here, working for such a great club as Bristol, with a huge tradition and a desire to get back into the Premiership and become a top Premiership side.
“Having been involved in international rugby for many years, to get back into the club game is really excited and is going to fuel my passion for the sport.”
Robinson, whose first game as director of rugby will be Bristol’s Championship trip to Bedford on March 2, said finishing in the play-off places was the top priority for the rest of this season.
And, while acknowledging Newcastle’s outstanding campaign so far, Robinson pointed to how Bristol were beaten in last season’s play-offs, despite finishing top of the table.
“What’s important is that we’re in the Championship play-offs,” he said. “Look what happened to Bristol last year: they led the group and unfortunately they weren’t able to qualify at the end.
“Newcastle have rightly been the standout team this season but they know they’ve still got to win four games to qualify (for the Premiership).
“What I’m looking for is Bristol being in those play-offs and then playing those four cup finals.
“A year ago, it came down to 20 minutes in the Cornish Pirates game which undid the good work Bristol did all the way through last season.
“But that’s the beauty of the Championship – you know that’s the competition when you go in and it’s important you’re peaking at this end of the season, not at the beginning.”
Middleton, meanwhile, said he was enthused by Robinson’s arrival – which he felt would benefit the Bristol team.
“I think ambition is the word that’s probably going to be used most today – and I think what Andy brings us is an accelerated opportunity to realise the ambition we all have,” said Middleton. “I’m certainly looking forward to working with someone of Andy’s experience.
“I think it’s key for me to build a good relationship with Andy, which I’m very keen to do, and to draw on a lot of his experiences, which I feel will benefit the team.
“And, if it benefits the team, we’ll win more games, and that’s ultimately what we’re striving for.
“I think Premiership rugby is going to come to Bristol – hopefully sooner now that Andy’s on board with us – and I haven’t given up on our ambition to do it this season. If not, then there’s clarity around our ambition to do it next season.”