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Premiership Rugby

From the sidelines

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

My own injury was a bit freaky in that I went for a bomb in the first five minutes, didn’t quite make it, and then took a whack at the side of my knee as I stretched out to reach the ball. The knee started to get worse and when Wales broke our line, I struggled to get across to help Dan Luger out with a tackle. As soon as I came off, Phil Christophers went on and poor Phil was sin binned within seconds.

I had a scan on the knee the following Tuesday and thankfully there was nothing serious found. I had some rehabilitation at the Sharks and travelled South on last Monday to meet up with the rest of the England Squad.

The games over the weekend threw up some talking points to say the least. Gloucester against Leicester saw two great tries from Delporte and Garvey, but the game finished in controversy with uncontested scrums. We had a similar experience at the Sharks against Bourgoin last October and it is a rule that needs looking at.

In the Zurich Premiership, Bristol Shoguns beat Harlequins 48-41 to move up the table, Bath beat Saracens and Wasps beat Newcastle Falcons. It’s proving to be a great season for supporters with teams fighting for top three places and at least five teams fighting to avoid relegation. The last six rounds should have fans flocking to games to see top quality games. Our games against Leeds Tykes and Gloucester are sure to be sell-outs before the day of the game and we also have games such as Leicester Tigers v The Sharks, Bath v Saracens, Newcastle v Leicester and Gloucester v Newcastle to come before Easter.

After driving down to Pennyhill Park, I spoke to Clive Woodward and the England Medical Team about my knee injury and he decided not to risk me in the game against Italy. The injury had improved a lot but I still had a twinge and Clive thought the extra week off would benefit me and the team with the games against Scotland and Ireland in the next few weeks.

I travelled back North and continued my rehabilitation at the Sharks. I watched the Sharks game against Bridgend from the sidelines and the lads did well. It was a good work-out for the lads and Jos Baxendell sealed the win with the last kick of the game.

In the England game against Italy, it was great to see players Josh Lewsey, Ollie Smith and Alex Sanderson get a run out. Josh is a great full back and to crown a great debut, he scored two first-half tries so I will need to be on top form to regain my place in the team.

Mark Cueto, my Sharks team mate, was named Zurich Premiership Player of the Month for January and received his bottle of champagne from the sponsors at Heywood Road earlier this week.

On a sad note, my Sharks team mate Charlie Hodgson picked up a bad knee injury after replacing Jonny Wilkinson against Italy. Charlie has ruptured the ACL joint in his left knee and is naturally disappointed. He will probably miss the World Cup in the Autumn, but he has time on his side and I am sure he will be back to continue where he left off.

The next Sharks game is against Leeds Tykes. I was born and bred in Leeds and in my rugby league days I had a good record against them. The Tykes have a great side this season and have, like ourselves, upset the form book. Our game at Headingley last September ended in a 27-all draw. We didn’t play well until the last ten minutes and we know we will have to be on the top of our form to win the game at Heywood Road in front of another sell-out crowd and the Sky TV cameras.  

Enjoy your rugby,

God Bless

Jason Robinson

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