Robinson focused only on Italy in Six Nations

Scotland coach Andy Robinson sidestepped suggestions he might resign after the Six Nations and insisted he was concentrating just on this weekend’s wooden spoon decider with Italy.

Robinson, in charge of Scotland since 2009, is contracted until the 2015 World Cup in England.

While there is no stand-out alternative to Robinson, there are concerns the former England flanker and coach could quit if results do not improve.

Scotland head to Rome’s Olympic Stadium for Saturday’s Six Nations finale on a run of six successive defeats and they’ve lost 11 of their 14 matches in the tournament under Robinson.

Asked if he would be in charge beyond the end of this tournament, Robinson said Wednesday: “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.

“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.”

It’s likely Robinson will stay on given he is overseeing significant changes to his backroom staff, with Saturday’s match the last for attack coach Gregor Townsend and defence counterpart Graham Steadman.

Given Scotland’s most dangerous player in attack during last week’s 32-14 defeat by Ireland was lock Richie Gray in a match where the Scots again missed several first-up tackles, it is perhaps easy to see why changes to the coaching set-up have been made.

Australian backs guru Scott Johnson is set to join Scotland as senior assistant coach with Townsend taking over as head coach of Glasgow, as incumbent Sean Lineen moves into a new scouting role with the Scottish Rugby Union.

Meanwhile Steadman has been replaced by Matt Taylor, currently defence coach at Queensland Reds.

Robinson added: “There have been a number of things we needed to sort out. Our defence — the opportunities we gave Ireland in the first half, the softness of the scores — was hugely disappointing. It really undermined our performance.

“A lot of our attacking shape was very good. We were able to create things, it’s about taking them.

“When you do get your chances and you do get three points or five points, it’s about making sure the opposition don’t go up the other end of the field and score. That’s what we got wrong.”

Italy too have lost all four of their matches so far this Six Nations, with their only previous home games this season a narrow 19-15 loss to England and Robinson said of the Azzurri: “They’re a team that has been developing.

“They will want to get a win out of the championship, as we do.

“There will be two desperate sides to win the game. They want to defend their own territory and they do it with real pride.

“You’re going to be tested physically by the Italian front five, their back row are skilful and good in the air, but also the Italians have been developing their back play.”

He added: “We’ve not been at our very best in every single game and that’s why we’ve not won the games.

“It’s about putting in an 80-minute performance.”

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