17 Jun, 19:25
Ireland pulled clear of hosts Canada with four tries in the closing half hour as they earned a 40-14 victory at the BMO Stadium on Saturday night. Check out some photos from the Toronto tussle.
Woodward switched Robinson from his regular Test position of full-back because regular No.12 Mike Tindall was injured and the move paid off as the recently crowned world champions began the defence of their Six Nations title with an impressive victory at the Flaminio stadium.
"I've said to everbody that Jason's best position, his World Cup position, is full-back - but I also know that because of the way we play and as long as he is out there, he is going to be a danger," Woodward said.
"So to play him at centre, having a little bit more of the ball than he would normally get, was very interesting to see and I thought he handled it very well.
"I still think his best position is full-back if everybody is fit and well, but I have no issue with playing him there against any team in the world because I know he would come out on top."
Robinson said playing at centre was not his preferred choice, but insisted he was happy to play anywhere for the good of the team. "I said before the game that if I had the choice, full-back would be my number one position," said the former Rugby League star.
"But Clive wants us to interchange and play anywhere in the backline and that's what I've done today. We knew if we could get the ball out wide to some of the outside backs we'd create opportunities and it was good for me to be on the end of three of them."
Woodward, who prior to the match described Italy as the most physical team in the tournament, said his players had the bruises to prove it. "It was a great game of rugby and you should see the state of our players - they're battered," he said.
"We knew it was going to be a battle and if they had had the bounce of the ball they could have scored couple of tries. They've been steadily improving each year and they are better this year than they were against us at Twickenham last year.
"Any team coming here in the Six Nations will have to play very well to win, I've got no doubt that."
England, playing their first competitive game since they defeated Australia in the World Cup final last November, ran in a seven tries in total, with Iain Balshaw, Josh Lewsey, Paul Grayson and debutant Chris Jones all touching down in addition to Robinson's three.
Paul Grayson, deputising for the injured Jonny Wilkinson, scored 15 points with his boot to complete the destruction.
All of Italy's points came from New Zealand-born Rima Wakarua in the first-half. Italy captain Andrea De Rossi, standing in for the injured Alessandro Troncon, was disappointed his team didn't make the most of their two best chances at the start of the second-half. "England showed what a great team they are in every position," said the 31-year-old flanker.
"We did well to get through to the 22 on a couple of occassions, but we couldn't make the break through to put them under some pressure and in the end their class showed."
Report courtesy AFP.