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Robinson To Remain At Centre ?

Robinson To Remain At Centre ?

England head coach Clive Woodward says he
would have no problem keeping Jason Robinson at centre for the rest of the Royal Bank of Scotland Six

England head coach Clive Woodward says he
would have no problem keeping Jason Robinson at centre for the rest of the Royal Bank of Scotland Six
tournament after the Sale speed-merchant ran in three tries in the
demolition of Italy here on Sunday.

Woodward switched Robinson from his regular Test position of
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.

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“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
because I know he would come out on top.”

Robinson said playing at centre was not his preferred choice, but
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

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
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
Italy captain Andrea De Rossi, standing in for the injured
Troncon, was disappointed his team didn’t make the most of their two
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.