Robinson steps his way to 50 Tests
By Iain Robinson
PARIS, 12 October - England full back Jason Robinson has dedicated his 50th Test cap, which will be earned when he runs out for England against France in Saturday's semi-final, to his family.
"I need to say a big thank you to my wife. She's the one who has been making sacrifices over the years for me and I would have to dedicate my 50th cap to my wife and children," said Robinson.
It will be a special milestone for the rugby league convert, who many thought had played his final game in an England shirt when he limped off the field with a hamstring injury in the heavy loss to the Springboks under a month ago.
But a speedy recovery coupled with a resurgent England side sees the 33-year-old, who came out of international rugby retirement to play in this world cup, preparing for what he hopes will be the first of two more victories.
"This year was all about England. It was a massive year, it being the world cup and I just wanted to make a great contribution to it," said Robinson.
"It's a great way for me to finish."
When asked to reflect on Robinson's career, England head coach Brian Ashton, who first worked with the fleet-footed full back in 1996 at Bath, was full of praise for the man known as 'Billy Whiz'.
"I used to go out and watch Wigan to get my fix of rugby league every week in the late '80s early '90s onwards," said Ashton.
"I just remember Jason being part of what was a phenomenal rugby team full stop. Whether it was union or league, Jason was one of the most exciting characters in it.
"Everybody knows what a remarkable rugby player he is, you never know what he's going to do next, which is great news and those are the sort of player's that I like.
"I am delighted for him that he made the decision to come out of retirement and the rest of us have managed to scramble our way through to give him his 50th cap in a world cup semi-final on Saturday."
Robinson was probably the highest profile convert from rugby league to union when he left Wigan for Sale in 2000.
He answered critics of the move on the 2001 Lions tour to Australia with a breathtaking turn of speed to score in the first Test in Brisbane.
"The memory which will live for me forever more is with the Lions in 2001. I just remember that try he scored in the first Test at the GABBA was just a magical moment for me," said England captain Phil Vickery.
"I remember thinking this is one very very special, talented man."
The match kicks off on Saturday at 2100 (CET).