Andy Robinson’s review meeting with SRU Chief Executive Mark Dodson could be nothing. After all, Dodson’s public description of today’s encounter between the two men as “nothing more than a chat really” should discourage any potential firings. Right?
Except there are a few factors counting against Robinson staying on. In leading Scotland to their first Wooden Spoon since 2004, Robinson has presided over a dismal run of results, which counting back to the Rugby World Cup reads as seven defeats in a row. What’s more, the rumours of player dissatisfaction with their coach, which according to The Telegraph included a training-ground fallout between Robinson and a section of his players before facing Italy, normally signals the beginning of the end for most regimes.
What could save him though is a persuasion to look ahead rather than back. With Gregor Townsend now tactically shifted out of his job with the Scotland side to take over at Glasgow, Scotland’s backroom staff will undertake a major revamp before the Summer Tests against Fiji, Samoa and Australia. By then Scott Johnson and Queensland Reds defence coach Matt Taylor will be on board, two coaches with a track record of success who will either offer Robinson the support he has perhaps been missing, or force him out the door.
The talent emerging in Scottish rugby – Duncan Weir, Stuart Hogg, David Denton and Richie Gray will all be future Lions – means that for whoever is in charge there are tools to work with. What counts against Robinson is that whilst many of Scotland’s flaws in the Six Nations were player led, if the inspiration is not there in the dressing room then a change at the top must be made.
But for now, sit down Andy and relax. It’s just an informal chat.