Rugby Club: Andy Robinson plotting Bristol's return to the Aviva Premiership

Last Updated: 29/03/13 12:18pm

Robinson's new challenge

Andy Robinson says the passion and potential of Bristol convinced him to move to the Championship club having coached England and Scotland at international level.

The former Bath and England flanker, who stepped down as Scotland head coach last November, was recruited in February to take Bristol back into the Aviva Premiership.

Despite their illustrious history, Bristol have not been in the top flight of English rugby since the 2008/09 season, while they are currently fourth in the second tier of English rugby and 37 points behind pacesetters Newcastle.

"For any team there has to be some soul. But the soul is created through the sweat and work you put in."

Andy Robinson

Robinson admits there is a huge amount of work to be done and that the West Country outfit would struggle with the intensity of the Aviva Premiership at present.

But he believes Bristol's strong rugby foundations can help them build a successful future for the club.

Robinson told the Rugby Club: "The love of the club that I have seen from the supporters and the old players is what attracted me. For Bristol to get 6,000 people coming to watch in the Championship is brilliant, and it means so much to people in the city.

"Everybody has dreams. We all have a big goal that we want to be able to achieve but that is only going to be able to be done if we really engage with the supporters. For any team there has to be some soul, but the soul is created through the sweat and work.

"If we were in the Premiership currently, in the position we are in, I think we would struggle to compete with the sides with the week by week fixtures, physicality and brutality.

"What is important for me is that when Bristol go up, we don't have to add players to our squad. I want the players that we have to be good enough, confident enough to play in the toughest and best environment.

"That is part of the work that we do on the field."

Promotion race

Newcastle are clear favourites to gain promotion back to the Aviva Premiership this season with a hefty lead at the top of the Championship.

Robinson expects the Falcons to push on towards promotion, but has not ruled out the possibility of a surprise ending.

"It comes down the play-offs and you just have to look at what happened to Bristol last year," Robison said. "Bristol were in the position what Newcastle are in and switched off for 20 minutes away to Cornish Pirates and they were out of it.

"A couple of results they have had against Bedford and Nottingham, these teams will believe they can beat them. But I know Dean (Richards) and Wellsy (Jon Wells) very, very well and they play their cards very close to their chest.

"They will have something up there sleeve that they will deliver when it comes to the play-offs and you have got two guys that have had a lot of success.

"They are in the prime position to go up and ultimately at the moment they deserve to go up from the way they have played this year."

Check out our interview with Robinson in full by hitting the video at the top of the story.