Robinson to swap Dragons for Roosters
Catalan Dragons coach Trent Robinson is to leave the Stobart Super League club at the end of the season to take charge of Sydney Roosters.
The 35-year-old Australian left his role as assistant coach at the Roosters two years ago to take over from Kevin Walters in Perpignan and will return to Sydney to succeed his old boss Brian Smith, who was sacked this week.
“I would like to thank (chairman) Bernard Guasch, the club, players and supporters for the two years I have coached at the Dragons,” Robinson said in a statement.
“The progression that we have as a club has permitted me the opportunity to be offered the highest honour as a coach in the NRL.”
Robinson, who was Super League coach of the year in his first season with the Catalans in 2011 after guiding them from bottom to sixth in the table, has agreed a three-year contract with the Roosters.
Roosters chairman Nick Politis said: “We believe that Trent is the ideal candidate to take the Roosters forward with regard to what we aim to achieve in terms of success.
“Trent was a key contributor to the Roosters success in 2010 and, while he is still a relatively young coach, he already has pedigree and experience gained over his time as an assistant coach in the NRL and head coach in the Super League.”
A player with Roosters’ juniors from 1995-98, Robinson made a handful of appearances for Wests Tigers and Parramatta before joining the coaching ranks.
He succeeded former Hull KR boss Justin Morgan at Toulouse in 2005 and was assistant coach with Newcastle Knights from 2007 to 2009 before joining the Roosters in 2010.
Robinson was on Smith’s coaching staff when the Roosters made the Grand Final in 2010 but left at the end of that season to join the Dragons and since then has turned the Catalans into serious title contenders.
They go into tomorrow’s final game of the regular season against Bradford Bulls with a chance to finish in the top four and Robinson believes they are well placed to maintain their progression after his departure.
“The club has established itself as a force in the Super League competition and is well placed to continue the progression into one of the top franchises in Super League,” he said.
“Thanks again to the players for the belief in the direction we undertook two years ago, Bernard and the board of directors and Christophe Jouffret to back us in our vision and the supporters for their incredible force on pushing us to achieve and surpass our potential.”
A fluent French speaker, Robinson made a conscious effort to integrate the club’s overseas players into the local culture and that is thought to have been a major factor in their transformation in fortunes.
Robinson has two French assistants in Laurent Frayssinous and Jerome Guisset, as well as former XIII Catalan coach Steve Deakin, while former Great Britain coach Brian Noble is sure to be linked with the vacancy.