Scotland’s rugby team could be without Andy Robinson to guide them through next Autumn’s Tests against New Zealand and South Africa as well as the 2013 Six Nations – if the former England flanker is named coach of the next British and Irish Lions to Australia that year.
Presently Robinson is a 6-1 shot with bookmakers and were he to leapfrog Warren Gatland (evens), Shaun Edwards (2-1) and Declan Kidney (6-1) then a pre-requisite of a post to be filled a month after this season’s Six Nations’ ends is that the successful candidate takes a year off from national duties.
Problems may arise at Murrayfield as to who would take over from Robinson on a temporary basis.
Both Sean Lineen (Glasgow) and Michael Bradley (Edinburgh) would undoubtedly be considered but at the risk of disrupting their respective clubs.
Therefore it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the SRU could try to tempt back someone like Richie Dixon, who is currently developing Georgia into a significant force, in a caretaker role.
Meanwhile. Scotland’s share of revenue from the tour is expected to be well into seven figures amidst predictions by John Feehan, Lions chief executive, that the venture will be the most successful ever.
Feehan said: “Not so long ago people were writing off the Lions in the professional era. It is a unique concept which has mass appeal and its rarity only adds to that. It links rugby’s old traditions, values and ethos.”
Edinburgh’s Andy Irvine will manage the Lions.