FORMER Scotland boss Andy Robinson has been appointed as the new head coach of Romania. Marius Tincu, who had taken interim charge of the team, will remain involved with the national set-up as the Romanian Rugby Federation’s performance manager.
Robinson, now 55, coached Scotland for three years from 2009, taking up the post after a successful spell in charge of Edinburgh which had also seen him work with Scotland A. He resigned in late 2012 after a defeat by Tonga in Aberdeen.
A flanker with Bath, England and the Lions, Robinson made a smooth transition from playing to coaching at the Recreation Ground. He was assistant coach to Clive Woodward when England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, then took over in 2004 before being dismissed two years later.
At 18th, Romania are ranked above four of the teams who are competing at the World Cup. They were disqualified from the competition along with Spain and Belgium for fielding ineligible players. Russia were the beneficiaries, and are in Pool A alongside Scotland, Ireland, Samoa and Japan.
Robinson’s initial focus will be on preparing the team for the Rugby Europe Championship next February and March. Romania will compete against Belgium, Georgia, Portugal, Russia and Spain.
As well as being the RFF’s performance manager, Tincu will have a national development role as “federal coach”. Romanian rugby is nothing like the force it was in the 1980s and early 1990s, when the national team twice beat Scotland,
“After the analysis made when I was interim head coach, I realised how much work must be done at youth level to have children, players, coaches and educators ready to make the move to teams in the [Romanian] Super League or abroad,” Tincu said. “We must succeed in making children dream of rugby and of playing for the national team. We will create a training plan for all age groups that we must all follow.”