Scotland coach Andy Robinson calls for rethink over Premiership player release

Robinson was particularly frustrated given that the international squad departs for a two-Test tour of Argentina next week.

Robinson had hoped there might be some flexibility in the application of International Rugby Board regulation 9, which obliges clubs to release players only within strictly designated Test windows.

The June window, created largely for northern hemisphere sides making overseas tours, does not begin until the end of this week.

The coach claimed on Monday that Gloucester, the only club affected in this instance, had been prepared to agree to an arrangement that would allow their four Scotland players – Alasdair Dickinson, Alasdair Strokosch, Scott Lawson and Rory Lawson – to join the squad this week, but that Premier Rugby Ltd, the English clubs’ umbrella organisation, had blocked the move by insisting on the strict application of regulation 9.

“PRL are upholding regulation 9,” said Robinson, whose reign as England coach was also blighted by club-versus-country issues. “It is their right to do so. But the IRB really does have to look at the regulation.