Former England No 8 Dean Ryan and Scotland hooker Stevie Scott will work alongside the existing remnants of Andy Robinson’s staff in Scott Johnson, defence coach Matt Taylor and specialist coaches Duncan Hodge and Massimo Cuttitta to coach the Scottish national team.
With “Scottish coaches” the current watchword, the A Team management group has been loaded with developing Scottish coaches too.
Ryan, 46, the former head coach at Bristol Rugby and Gloucester Rugby, will take on the role of interim Scotland forwards coach. He is also renowned for his astute analysis on Sky Sports rugby coverage, and should bring a real focus on details to his spell with Scotland. A lot of his work in recent months has been highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the Premiership and Heineken big boys. If you want a head start of opposition research then Ryan is surely your man.
Securing his services even for a short term is a pretty astute move by Johnson and SRU head honcho Mark Dodson.
Ryan, who won four caps for England during a playing career which saw him represent Saracens, Wasps, Newcastle and Bristol, said: “I’ve responded to an invitation from Scott to assist the Scotland management team over the next 12 weeks and will look to bring my experience to bear to give Scotland players the best opportunity to represent their country in the best way.”
Galashiels-born Scott, 39, who was a member of the management team that led Scotland A to a 35-0 victory over England Saxons last year and who was a well-liked coach at Sale Sharks, will be an interim skills coach.
According to Dodson, Ryan and Scott will begin work on Monday.
Meanwhile, two ex-Scotland locks will join forces with a former Scotland stand-off to coach the Scotland A team.
Scotland A will be led by head coach Shade Munro, who is joined by Scotland’s most-capped forward (87 caps), fellow internationalist and lineout exponent Scott Murray. Murray has been coaching the pack as well as playing for Mont de Marsan in France’s Top 14. Duncan Hodge takes charge of the backs for the A team’s sole match of the Six Nations window – against England Saxons at Kingston Park, Newcastle on Friday 1 February.
Murray, 37 later this month, has been coaching the forwards at Mont de Marsan in the French top 14 for the last month and was targeted as a coach at his previous French club, Castres.