A man who has steered his club to the most league titles in Celtic rugby has today been appointed to the position of Scotland forwards coach. Jonathan Humphreys, the former Welsh hooker and captain, will join the Scotland management ahead of the quadrangular tournament with Samoa, South Africa and Italy in June. He will be on a two year contract.
Humphreys, 44, who won 35 caps for Wales in an international career which spanned from 1995-2003, has been forwards coach at the Ospreys since 2006.
During his tenure with the Swansea based club, Ospreys have enjoyed most Celtic League successes having won the RaboDirect PRO12 (or its previous incarnations) on three occasions. The club have also won the EDF Cup during his time there.
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “Jonathan impresses us. He’s a very astute coach and when you look at the players he has nurtured to the very highest levels of the game then clearly he has much to offer.”
Humphreys said: “I’m very excited by the challenge of working with the Scotland players and management and building on the very solid foundations that are in place.
“I know Scott Johnson well from our time together at the Ospreys and it will be great to renew acquaintance with a man who has such a sharp rugby brain.”
Lamont Calls It a Day
Scotland internationalist Rory Lamont has announced his retirement from professional and international rugby due to a career ending injury. Lamont broke his leg playing for Scotland against France in 2012 and has not been able to regain fitness.
He re-joined Glasgow Warriors in December 2011, after spending three years at the club between 2004 and 2007, but never really found a run of games: he has made just six appearances, scoring one try. Since then new wing talents like Sean Maitland have arrived at the club, with Matawalu also playing there successfully.
During his first spell with the club he scored 19 tries in 55 games, before moving to Sale Sharks and then Toulon.
He made his Scotland debut against Wales in 2005 and has 29 caps for his country.
Rory Lamont said: “I’m sad to be retiring from professional rugby but I’ve been struggling with injury for some time now and it’s clear I won’t be able to get back to the level I was playing at before.
“Despite a tough time personally it’s been a privilege to see the boys do so well and make such good progress this season.
“It’s fantastic to have been at the club during this exciting time and I wish them all the very best for the remaining games this season.”
Jones and McGuigan called into 7s Squad
Head coach Stephen Gemmell, has named a 14-man extended squad for the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s, which begins a on Saturday 4 April.
Scotland cap Lee Jones and Glasgow Warrior Byron McGuigan may have the chance to return to a Scotland 7s jersey next weekend at the eighth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series at Scotstoun Stadium. Also in with a chance of winning his first Scotland 7s cap is Scotland 7s elite development player and Jed-Forest winger, Lewis Young.
Gemmell, said: “The Glasgow leg of the World Series is obviously an extremely important tournament for us and with this squad I have brought in experience and rewarded the players who have trained well.
“I’m confident of the talent this group of players has and I believe they can do the job that we’re setting out to do.”
The remainder of the team will be made up of Scotland 7s professionals and elite development players and will be captained by Colin Gregor. Gemmell will announce the 12 players to compete in Glasgow no later than next Wednesday (1 May). The team will play Portugal (12.42pm), England (4.10pm) and New Zealand (7.21pm) on day one of the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s.
The British & Irish Cup will undergo a revision to the current structure for the 2013-14 season, moving from 32 teams to 24, playing in six pools of four.
Following the restructure, four Principality Premiership teams will now represent Wales in the competition, joining the 12 clubs of the RFU Championship as well as four from each of Ireland and Scotland. Selection of the Welsh teams will be based on regional play-offs at the start of next season, with final positions in this season’s Principality Premiership giving teams home field advantage.
2013-14 British & Irish Cup structure
Teams : 12 RFU Championship clubs / Four Welsh Principality Premiership clubs / Four Irish provinces – Connacht, Munster, Leinster and Ulster / Four Scottish teams – top four finishers in RBS Premier Division: Ayr, Gala, Stirling County and Edinburgh Academicals.
Pool Stages : Six pools of four playing home and away / Four points for a win, two for a draw, one bonus point for a) scoring four or more tries and/or b) losing by seven points or less.
Quarter-finals : top side in each pool progress to knockout stage, including two best runners-up / eight quarter-finalists ranked with teams ranked 1-4 having home advantage .
Semi-finals and final : four winning quarter finalists progress to semi -final draw / winning semi-finalists progress to final