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Scottish Rugby
Robinson backs 'outstanding' Godman
Scrum.com
October 22, 2009

Andy Robinson is giving Phil Godman his full backing after naming the Edinburgh fly-half as the sole No.10 in his Scotland squad for their first November Test match, against Fiji.

The new Scotland coach omitted Dan Parks, and with rising star Ruaridh Jackson injured he has placed his faith in Godman. His Edinburgh team mate Chris Paterson will provide cover. As Scotland's most capped player and top points scorer Paterson has plenty of experience, but the fullback has only started eleven of his 95 caps in the play-maker's role.

But the former England head coach said that with a bit of practise he expects Paterson to be up to speed quickly.

"I believe that Phil Godman is an outstanding fly-half," he said. "He's going to be starting at 10 for Scotland. It's looking at the balance of who will be on the bench or playing at 15 for us. I'm looking at Chris as that option to cover 10. He's an outstanding goalkicker. Because Chris has not played that much at 10, he would need to do some practice during our sessions."

Robinson has also explained the reasons for leaving the experienced back-row forward Ally Hogg out of the squad in favour of the uncapped Alan MacDonald and Richie Vernon. He said that this was one of the more difficult decisions he's had to make as a coach and he says that the door is not closed for the players not selected this time out ahead of Tests against Argentina and Australia.

"That's one of the toughest decisions that I've had to make," he revealed. "I rate Ally Hogg very, very highly. Of the players that are coming in, Richie Vernon has performed well. Alan MacDonald, I think, has been right on top of his game and Ally, unfortunately, didn't get the nod there. It's time for him to go away and perform for Edinburgh and get that opportunity."

"There are a number of players who have played well who aren't in the squad. Kyle Traynor and Roddy Grant have done very well for Edinburgh - they're unlucky to miss out. Kyle Traynor's ahead of Jon Welsh. Jon's being doing well but I think Kyle is certainly challenging for that spot ahead of him."

And Robinson says he is relishing a return to the international arena after a three year absence.

"I'm looking forward to it; the coaching team I have working with me are really looking forward to it; the whole management are looking forward to it. International rugby is very special; it's unique, and we've got three cracking games in the autumn to test ourselves in."

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