Unlucky Andy Robinson still has much to offer, says Lee Mears
Lee Mears believes Andy Robinson still has plenty to offer the game following his resignation as Scotland head coach on Sunday.
Six years after stepping down from the same role with England, the Bath Rugby legend ended his three-and-a- half-year tenure after a poor run of results, culminating in a 21-15 weekend loss against Tonga.
Having worked with Robinson at all levels of the game, hooker Mears backed the 48-year-old to bounce back from his latest disappointment.
Mears came under Robinson's guidance as a pupil at St Colston's School in Bristol, while almost a decade later it was he who handed the hooker his international debut in 2005. The pair also crossed paths during Robinson's stint as Bath head coach in the late 1990s.
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"Having been coached by him through the years I know he's got some great ideas," said 42-cap Mears.
"Everywhere he goes he puts that style of play on the game and wherever he goes from here I've no doubt he will be successful.
"I have pretty much grown up with Andy and have got a lot of respect for him. I was quite lucky as I had him at school, with Bath for a bit and then with England.
"It's unfortunate and I feel sorry for him because he's a very good mate but as long as he stays in and around rugby we'll be better for it because he's a great coach.
"I thought he was doing a great job and he was a bit like us earlier in the season, coming off the back of some unlucky losses.
"He was getting Scotland to play an exciting brand of rugby and lots of people forget that they pushed England pretty close in the World Cup last year.
"It's such fine lines at the top in international rugby and you don't know which way it's going to go. Unfortunately, if you get a couple of bad ones people start to look where the next answer is going to come from."
Mears himself gave up international duty over the summer but the 33-year-old says he has no plans to hang up his club boots as well despite the arrival of fellow hookers Rob Webber and Brett Sharman this term.
On Saturday he will line up against another of the Premiership's elder statesman – Leicester Tigers' George Chuter. After many years battling it out for England's number two jersey, Mears admits they know each other's game almost inside out.
"With Rob coming in I was hoping we'd have a bit more of a sharing role. He's still injured at the moment but I'm sure at some point he'll be there to back me up," said Mears.
"Brett's very good and it's great to see some young blood coming in. He's willing to learn and I'm trying to help these guys and use them to push me on as well. I just love playing for the club and want to keep going for as long as possible.
"Me and George have had some great battles over the years and have played together a fair bit as well.
"I'll know his no-look pass and give him loads of banter about his game.
"He's one of the few I can't give too much stick to, though, because he is even older than I am."