Here’s to you, Jason Robinson

In amongst the bleak cloud that surrounded England’s rugby team on Friday night, there was just one ray of light.  Jason Robinson’s heroics at full-back under relentless pressure reminded us of his ability and his character.

Time and again, the ball was hoisted into the Paris sky, England’s supporters held their breath and the smallest man on the field would leap bravely to claim the ball, and his commitment in such adversity prevented England from yielding twice as many points.

Robinson’s lightning-fast feet and ability to always beat at least one man meant that he was a vital part of England’s World Cup-winning side in 2003.  His dramatic run against Wales in the quarter-final turned the match, and everyone knows the contribution he made as England’s only tryscorer in the final.

He looked out of place in the drab side that graced the pitch on Friday, and the crowd felt sorry for him for lacking the support that his defiant performance warranted.

Unfortunately, it is symbolic of the world champions’ laughable campaign that their best player is now injured, is set to retire after the World Cup and may not play for his country again.

So here’s to you, Jason Robinson, England loves you more than you will know.

4 thoughts on “Here’s to you, Jason Robinson

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Robinson has shown union players what it means to be professional. He was as you say, fantastic in Paris, having been singled out by the Boks to receive a lot of high balls but he barely put a foot wrong.

    For me though, his last act in that shambolic performance summed up what a complete professional he is. It was clear straight away that he’d done something fairly serious from the way he pulled up so dramatically without a tackler anywhere near him. So did he chip the ball in to touch, or fling a loose pass backwards in the hope that a team mate was somewhere near it? No. Despite a sharp pain in his hamstring and the thought of this being probably the last moment of his career, he went to ground, set the ball back and braced himself for a ruck forming around him. The kind of professionalism and selflessness that’s just typical of him.

    He’s only small and very quietly spoken but you’ll never meet a sportsman with more courage of his own convictions than Billy Whizz.

    I’m not a religious man but I found his autobiography a real eye-opener which changed a lot of my perceptions of religion and made me admire him as much as a person as I do as a rugby player. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it.

    It seems now that we may just be lucky enough to see him play again in this tournament after all. I hope so, but if he doesn’t we will always have our memories of him skinning Latham at the Gabba in 2001 for the Lions, his try in Paris in 2002 (despite the defeat that day this try has always been one of my favourite England tries of recent years), turning the 2003 Quarter final on its head with one moment of indescribable brilliance, and of course, beating Mat Rogers to the line in the final.

    I don’t think we’ll ever see his like again (although he does have sons, so fingers crossed we might!) but let’s hope he has a long and happy retirement. He deserves it.

  2. Rob, are you Scottish: “we’ll never see his like again…” (to the tune of Flower of Scotland)?

    Completely agree – Robinson was a rock upon which the England team broke themselves.

    Has anyone seen the team for Samoa?? Apparently Ashton’s comments of ‘Lewsey will only be considered on the wing’ and ‘Cueto is a very promising 15’ have flown out the window, emigrated, and hidden themselves down under.

    Great blog by the way, essential daily reading – keep it up.

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