Andy Robinson: Bristol boss relishing maiden play-off campaign

Andy Robinson is relishing the prospect of leading Championship side Bristol in what will be his first play-off campaign as a director of rugby.

Bristol finished top of the table by an eight-point margin and now face Rotherham in a two-legged semi-final.

Bristol in the Championship

  • 2009-10: Finished first. Lost in play-off final against Exeter Chiefs
  • 2010-11: Finished eighth
  • 2011-12: Finished first. Lost in play-off semi-final against Cornish Pirates
  • 2012-13: Finished fifth
  • 2013-14: Finished first. Set to face Rotherham in semi-finals

"We've achieved our first objective, which was getting to the play-offs," the 50-year-old former England and Scotland coach told BBC Points West.

"Now I'm looking forward to seeing how the team cope with the pressure of it."

He continued: "It's very rare you get to play a team back-to-back as well. Tactically, it will be interesting to see where both sides end up in the second game."

Capped eight times by England, former flanker Robinson's first coaching job was at Bath, where he spent his entire 11-year playing career.

He then worked as forwards coach for England under Sir Clive Woodward, helping mastermind the 2003 World Cup victory in Australia, before succeeding Woodward as head coach.

Robinson resigned from that role in 2006 and went on to have a two-year stint with Edinburgh, which led to him being appointed as Scotland boss in 2009.

In February last year, three months after quitting Scotland, Robinson was a surprise appointment at second-tier Bristol, who have been fighting to return to the Premiership for five years.

To have someone who has done so much but still wants more is so inspiring

Bristol assistant Sean Holley on boss Andy Robinson

Together with assistant Sean Holley, he has overhauled the squad and Bristol dominated the league - winning 13 consecutive games to equal a club record - and now have the chance to reach the final for the first time since 2009-10.

Former Ospreys coach Holley, who arrived at Bristol last year, believes Robinson is the right man to help the club get back to the top flight.

"He's done it all," said the Welshman. "He's won World Cups, Heineken Cups and Grand Slams.

"He's a true rugby man and that really rubs off on the squad and the staff. You genuinely want to work hard form him.

"To have someone who has done so much but still wants more is so inspiring."