A former St Gregory's student, Robinson played 3 games from the bench for the Wests Tigers in 2000 & 2001. He was the first player to ever make his first grade debut with Wests Tigers without previously having played with another team. In 2002 he joined the Brian Smith-coached Parramatta Eels, playing in a solitary game.
On 7 September 2012 it was announced that Robinson had been appointed as Head Coach of the Sydney Roosters for a three year term, starting in 2013. At 35 years old, he was the youngest coach in the NRL. He became only the 2nd rookie NRL coach to claim a minor premiership after the Roosters defeated the Rabbitohs in round 26 of 2013. He claimed the Coach of the Year at the 2013 Dally M Awards, becoming the youngest ever winner and only the second coach in NRL history and just the sixth since the Dally M awards started in 1980 to be named the league's best coach in his first season. He capped this historic season by leading his team to the Premiership title and to the Grand Final victory, becoming only the sixth rookie coach Premiership winner. At the end of the 2013 season he received the Rugby League International Federation's coach of the year award.