On this day in 2009 – Jason Robinson appointed Sale head coach

Jason Robinson was appointed head coach of Premiership club Sale for the following season on this day in 2009.

The former England wing, who previously spent seven years as a player with the Sharks from 2000-07, returned to the club after agreeing an initial two-year deal to join the Edgeley Park management team.

Sale announced the 34-year-old would work beneath the club’s director of rugby Kingsley Jones when he took over from Toulon-bound Philippe Saint-Andre at the end of the season.

Robinson had captained Sale to their first – and currently only – Premiership title in 2006 and Jones said of his impending return: “It’s fantastic news for the club that Jason has agreed to join the coaching staff.

Jason Robinson had starred as a player for Sale
Jason Robinson had starred as a player for Sale (David Davies/PA)

“It’s no coincidence that in the three years that Jason was captain was the most successful in the club’s history.

“He is renowned for his enthusiasm and drive and is a proven 100 per cent winner.”

Robinson, who played nine years of rugby league before switching codes in 2000, retired after England’s defeat by South Africa in the 2007 World Cup final, having won 51 caps for his country.

During that time Robinson played a key role as England won the 2003 World Cup while he also became the first black player to captain the national team when, in November 2004, he led the side to a 70-0 victory over Canada, a match in which he scored a hat-trick of tries

Rugby Union – Jason Robinson Training and Press Conference – Carrington Lane
Jason Robinson spent seven years at Sale as a player (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

The former Great Britain rugby league star also toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2001 and 2005.

He was head coach at Sale for just over a year before he was replaced by former All Black Mike Brewer at the end of the 2009-10 season.

Robinson, whose side were 11th in the Premiership at the time of the coaching reshuffle, said: “When Kingsley asked me to help out last year I felt that I couldn’t let him or the club down in what was always going to be a very challenging season.

“While I had no plans to go into coaching, I was delighted to respond in the club’s hour of need.

Rugby World Cup Final
Jason Robinson helped England win the 2003 World Cup (David Davies/PA)

“Having now made sure that Sale Sharks will be playing Guinness Premiership rugby next year, I feel that the time is right to let another coach take up the mantle.”

Robinson briefly came out of retirement in 2010 at the age of 35 for a stint with Fylde.