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Robinson tight-lipped over future

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson insists Italy is his sole focus amid suggestions he might resign after the RBS 6 Nations.

Robinson has been in charge since 2009 and is contracted until the 2015 World Cup, but prior to his third Six Nations in charge made it clear he was determined for Scotland to shed their "unlucky losers tag".

Asked if he will be in charge beyond the tournament, Robinson told Press Association Sport: "I've got a contract to 2015. I just focus on this next game. I've just got to look at the way we're trying to play, focus on the team and that's the big thing for me."

Robinson has made one change in personnel to his starting line-up following the loss to Ireland - centre Nick De Luca coming in for the concussed Lee Jones, with Max Evans moving to the wing and Jack Cuthbert coming onto the bench - as Scotland bid to avoid the wooden spoon by winning on the final weekend of the championship for the third straight year.

Scotland are seeking to improve a record of 11 losses in 14 Six Nations matches under Robinson and avoid a first whitewash since 2004 and the extension of the winless run to seven matches - something which would be the worst sequence since 1998.

The former Bath and England boss has support in many quarters and is understood to have the backing of the Scottish Rugby Union - although Saturday's match in Rome could have a major bearing on that.

He added: "Everybody's frustrated, everybody's disappointed about the losses and the manner of the losses, but also there is a confidence and an inner strength among the team."

While only Robinson knows his intentions for certain - and the prospect of a return to Bath has long been muted - the indications suggest he will be staying at Murrayfield.

The 47-year-old has overseen a radical coaching overhaul in recent weeks and Saturday's match at the Stadio Olimpico will be the last for Scotland attack coach Gregor Townsend and his defensive counterpart Graham Steadman.

Steadman has been replaced by Matt Taylor, currently defence coach at Queensland Reds, while Scott Johnson has been appointed senior assistant coach, with Townsend moving into the head coach's role at Glasgow Warriors and incumbent Sean Lineen shifting into a newly-created scouting role with the SRU.


From Belfast Telegraph