Glasgow head coach Lineen has decided not to put his name forward to replace Frank Hadden, who stepped down just under two weeks ago after four years in charge.
Lineen’s withdrawal removes arguably the biggest obstacle to the appointment of former England boss Robinson, who is the bookies’ favourite.
The Edinburgh head coach is expected to confirm today whether he is going for the job, with the deadline for applications less than a week away.
The 45-year-old has been given a ringing endorsement from Lineen, who said yesterday: “I would be amazed if he didn’t (apply).”
The former Scotland centre, who has worked alongside Robinson as a coach in the international set-up, added: “He’s great; he’s very hands on. I’ve learned a lot from him from doing one-on-ones with the players.
“He knows a lot about the game, is very, very enthusiastic and very passionate about rugby and about his team — whatever it is — winning and getting the best from the players.”
While Robinson might now appear the only viable candidate, the Scottish Rugby Union were keen to avoid a coronation and advertised for the position.
Lineen agrees with that decision, saying: “Obviously, it’s got to be worldwide; you’ve got to go through the procedures and who knows what that throws up? But I’ve worked with Andy; I know what he can do.”
Despite pulling out of the race, Lineen desperately wants the top job at some point in his career. Asked when that might be, he said: “I’ll know. It’s up to me to force the issue and make sure that I’m in the frame.
“But, at the moment, you look at where we are and where Scotland is and there’s a candidate there.”