Scottish Rugby
Robinson angered by player release
June 1, 2010
Scotland coach Andy Robinson watches his side in action, Scotland v England, Six Nations Championship, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland, March 13, 2010
Andy Robinson is unhappy with IRB regulations on player release © Getty Images

Andy Robinson has called for the IRB to re-evaluate the current rules on player release after four players were barred from taking part in Scotland's warm-up game against a Japan XV at Murrayfield on Tuesday.

Gloucester quartet Rory Lawson, Alasdair Dickinson, Alasdair Strokosch and Scott Lawson were ruled out of the game, which comes prior to a two Test series against Argentina, by Premier Rugby Ltd, the umbrella group which represents Guinness Premiership clubs.

"Gloucester were happy for us to play their four players but PRL said they were not happy with that," Robinson said. "Basically, the PRL are upholding regulation nine and it is their right to do so, but what that brings into question is that the IRB really has to look at regulation nine again.

"Because I would agree that it is very important during November and the Six Nations, but with Gloucester not having a game, it is affecting the players' ability to train and play."

The players will join the Scotland squad on Friday, despite Gloucester having not played a game for three weeks. As the game falls outside of the IRB's summer Test window there is no requirement for the players to be released. England have circumvented the problem by paying Premier Rugby around £110million over eight years up to June 2016 to ensure access to players.

"Let's not let this discount from the game," Robinson said. "It is a good squad we've got and we've just got to get out there and use this match as preparation for the tour. It is really based around the players not having had a lot of rugby in recent weeks, so this is about giving them the opportunity to have a run out.

"This game is about putting into action a lot of the things we do in training into a game environment, and getting out a lot of our coaching points and developing the players' understanding after being out of the game for the best part of two months. Sean [Lamont] finished the season in the first week of May, Hugo [Southwell] finished a week before that, and Alex [Grove] is in the same boat. All these players need a hit out."


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