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Years after he quit playing, rookie England assistant Robinson is still coping with concussion symptoms

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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Rookie England assistant coach Ed Robinson has admitted he still suffers from concussive symptoms that ended his embryonic playing career as a 19-year-old. A son of ex-England coach Andy, he was accidentally knocked out by an opponent’s knee when playing for Loughborough University.


Moderate exercise would lead to headaches and nausea due to the complex nature of that career-ending concussion, but he hasn’t allowed any of enduring symptoms stop his rise up the coaching ranks and into the England set-up on a temporary basis as a 27-year-old skills coach.

“They [symptoms] are still there in the background but life is good,” he said. “I have got no complaints. There are many people in the world in a worse situation than I am in. To be able to do what I love to do every day I am very, very lucky.

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England go to work in preparation for Six Nations opener versus Scotland

“It is something that I’m used to. Everybody has got something in their life that they have got to get over and get around and learn how to manage and this is just one of those things for me.”

A chance encounter at a public talk in Jersey resulted in an hour-long chat with Eddie Jones that was the start of the rapport that now sees Robinson coaching at Guinness Six Nations level with England after it was decided it would be best due to the pandemic for full-time skills coach Jason Ryles to stay in Australia.

Robinson spent a day in England camp in the lead-up to the win last March over Wales and he had a weekly Zoom call with Jones during the first lockdown, but he never imagined it could lead to him taking over from Ryles in an emergency.


“Out of the blue I had a text on my phone saying call me, I called him and I flew the next day,” explained Robinson about how two weeks ago he went from preparing for the new Championship season as backs coach at Jersey into the maelstrom of helping England get ready to start the defence of their Six Nations title at home to Scotland this Saturday.

“He [Jones] spoke about my role, to help players get better with their individual skills. I asked him if it was a joke. Eddie has been awesome in mentoring me. I would send him an idea and he would give me great feedback on it to then go and make it better,” continued Robinson, who mentioned he has been trying to add another edge to Jonny May’s already excellent aerial game.

“Coaching is about relationships and understanding what they [players] need to do to get better first and foremost and then help them to understand what they have to do to get better. Gone are the days of a coach screaming at people. That is my role. If I can help with one per cent making them better then that is great.

“The big thing for me is to be myself and to coach the way I have coached. At Jersey we are about driving standards, trying to coach and perform at a level above the Championship.”


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Years after he quit playing, rookie England assistant Robinson is still coping with concussion symptoms