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Players want say in Tahs coach: Robinson
Ben Horne
17:28 AEST Wed Aug 1 2012
Former NSW Waratahs coach Michael Foley.
NSW captain Benn Robinson says he's shocked by Michael Foley's (pic) defection to the Western Force.

NSW captain Benn Robinson said he's shocked by Michael Foley's defection to the Western Force and is adamant the Waratahs' senior players should be given a say on his replacement as coach.

Robinson said he had no knowledge of a reported split in the playing group between players who were in support of Foley and those who wanted the first-year coach forced out after the Super Rugby franchise's worst-ever season.

Wallabies prop Robinson was a Foley supporter.

"It's very disappointing to lose a coach of his calibre," he said on Wednesday from an Australian training camp.

"It's a big shock to the players ... I don't know of any of those factions. The players I spoke to had full support behind Foles."

Foley has accepted a three-year deal to coach the Force and phoned Waratahs players to explain his decision.

Robinson revealed his disappointment at the way things have gone down at the troubled club and wants the chance to voice his opinion on who the new Waratahs coach should be.

"I'd hope so. It would be good to have a few players involved in that process," he said.

"It's going to come down to the management and the board's decision but it'd be nice for them to speak to some of the key players and (for us) to have a fair say or influence on how the team should be moving forward.

"I'd love to have at least a few words about certain issues as well.

"With Webby (team manager Chris Webb) and now Foles going and Edwin (Chairman Edwin Zemancheff) as well, it's been challenging."

Although confident there are no factions amongst the squad, Robinson said appointing a new coach quickly is paramount to the Waratahs being able to bounce back on the field next year.

At the moment Australian Michael Cheika, who has had success coaching in Europe, is the leading candidate.

After winning just four matches from 16 starts in 2012, Robinson called on Waratahs administrators to give the players stability.

"Personally it'd be nice to have a coach as soon as possible. Get their understanding of where they want the team to go in this next period and make sure all the players are on the same page as well," he said.

"Time will tell but these next few months are very crucial for us. Things have been rattled the last few months with speculation going back and forth and that always creates a slight disturbance.

"The hardest part is for some of the younger players coming through and this is their first experience at Waratahs level.

"Once positions are filled and players have knowledge of where things are going, players will settle pretty quickly and rip straight into work."


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