x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Andy Robinson extends stay as Scotland coach

Former England coach to remain at Murrayfield until 2015

Andy Robinson has agreed a contract to stay as Scotland head coach until after the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Robinson, whose previous deal with the Scottish Rugby Union was due to expire at the end of the 2012 Six Nations, was appointed in 2009 following the departure of Frank Hadden.

The 46-year-old had been linked with a return to Bath following this autumn's World Cup in New Zealand, but is now set to stay at Murrayfield until the end of 2015.

Robinson was promoted into the Scotland job after taking charge of Edinburgh following his departure as England coach.

The progress he has made at Murrayfield – including wins over Ireland, Argentina (twice), South Africa and Australia in little more than a year – has attracted numerous plaudits.

SRU chief executive Gordon McKie said: "We are absolutely delighted that we have secured Andy until December 2015.

"I said when we appointed Andy back in 2009 that he would bring success to Scotland and I have every reason to expect that Scotland will continue to improve in the coming years under his leadership.

"Andy is an important part of the Scottish Rugby family and he has made a real impact on the national team taking us to seventh in the world and achieving fine victories over southern hemisphere opposition last year.

"Andy is highly regarded throughout the world as a coach and to have secured his services until beyond the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015 is a great coup and further underlines that rugby in Scotland is in good health."

SRU chairman Allan Munro added: "The Scottish Rugby board was keen to keep Andy in Scotland and this extension until December 2015 will enable Andy to build on the recent improving performances of the national team.

"It's great news for everyone associated with the game in Scotland."

Meanwhile, Hendre Fourie, the flanker, has replaced Joe Worsley in England manager Martin Johnson’s only change to the squad for Saturday’s Six Nations meeting with Italy. Fourie has recovered from a calf strain to join the 22-man squad.

Worsley came on as a replacement in England’s opening 26-19 win at Wales but is among 12 players released back to their clubs for this weekend’s Premiership matches.

Jamie Heaslip will come in at No 8 in Ireland’s only line-up change for Sunday’s Six Nations match against France, the defending champions. Heaslip missed last weekend’s 13-11 victory in Italy because of an ankle injury that has kept him on the sidelines since December. Sean O’Brien shifts from No 8 to blindside flanker to make way for Heaslip, with Denis Leamy dropping to the replacements.