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'Billy Whizz' is back

LONDON, July 26 – Jason Robinson, a member of England's 2003 World Cup-winning team, is to come out of retirement to play for National League side Fylde next season.

Robinson ended his illustrious playing career during the 2007-08 season, but the 35-year-old winger has decided to return to action with an unglamourous team who finished ninth in the National North Two last season.

It will also mean a reunion with former England manager Brian Ashton, who returned to Fylde as a coaching consultant last month.

Ashton said: "It is a remarkably fortunate coincidence for me to be returning to help out my old club Fylde as Jason arrives to play.

"I have had the privilege of working with Jason and know that his stature, ability and qualities as a player and a person will benefit all who come into contact with him, both on and off the field."

Robinson played rugby league for club sides Hunslet and Wigan and internationally for both England and Great Britain before switching codes to union.

He had spells with Bath and Sale and appeared in more than 50 rugby union internationals for his country, including that memorable World Cup triumph in Australia, as well as playing for the British and Irish Lions.

Robinson, who is also expected to be involved in off-the-pitch activities, will also be working again with Mark Nelson, Sale’s backs coach in their Premiership-winning 2005-06 season.

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Nelson, now Fylde head coach, said: "I am absolutely delighted we have signed Jason for next season. Given his record in both codes of the game, it’s not an exaggeration to say he is the best ever rugby player."

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