Fylde take it slowly with flyer Jason

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IT remains unclear whether Jason Robinson will continue his distinguished rugby career with promoted champions Fylde next season.

The World Cup-winning England star came on as a late replacement as Fylde sealed the National Two North title with a 118-0 win over Manchester on Saturday.

Robinson, who will be 37 by the time next season gets under way, said: “The club have not been back to me with anything as yet, so we will just wait and see.

“I can only make a decision when an offer is made. The club probably did not expect itself to be in this position, so there is a lot of stuff they have to deal with, signing players and making adjustments for life in National One.

He welcomed the news that former England Brian Ashton would continue at the club next season

Robinson added: “The fact that Brian has committed his future is just fantastic. I just hope the (Fylde) guys realise how blessed they are to have the coaching structure we have here.

“Brian has had offers from all over the place, and for him to turn those down and commit here is great news.

“Brian is not into the easy way. He knows what he wants and will make sure he gets it.

“He puts the onus on players and you have to rise to that challenge, and the players have responded as we gave seen.

“Look at the bonus points we have got this year (26) – that is because of Brian’s style of play.”

Ashton was quick to praise Robinson for a contribution he described as “immense”.

Robinson only played in home games and was hampered by an early-season hamstring injury but Ashton said: “His very presence, on the training ground and around the club inspires other players to play to greater heights.

“Even the better players have played better because he has been around. He has been a marvellous influence.

“Whether he will be here next season I don’t know – that is down to him – but I certainly hope he is. You cannot buy influence like that.

“He is a fantastic person as well as a great rugby player. When you combine these two it makes him really special.”

Robinson, who played under Ashton with England and Bath, says Fylde’s promotion is thoroughly deserved.

“There has been a lot of hard work done throughout the year and the guys have got their rewards.

“Like anywhere else, we just set out to be the best we could be, but the guys have applied themselves to the massive changes they have had to make.

“We play an open style and even attack from our own in-goal if we need to, and that takes a lot of courage.

“To see the way the players have developed has been fantastic and made it all worthwhile.

“Coming here was not about me but about the club, helping them on and off the field. I have really enjoyed it.

Chairman Michael Brennand would not comment on the prospects of retaining Robinson but says the planning for next season is already well under way.

He explained: “Nelly (Mark Nelson) has had his book out and we have contacted one or two players.

“I hope we are going to retain all the existing squad, but I think we will need more strength in depth and we are on with that.”

Brennand said promotion had been achieved despite the club reducing its playing budget “considerably” ahead of the season.

He added: “We were concerned at the strength of the team.

“We lost certain players because we were not prepared to pay the money to keep them but we made one or two key signings, which were down to Mark Nelson knowing the right players to bring in.”