Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


McFarland In, Scott Out (for the season)

Matt Scott - pic © Al Ross
Matt Scott - pic © Al Ross

Connacht assistant coach Dan McFarland will join the Glasgow Warriors coaching team in the summer.

The former Ireland Wolfhounds coach will work alongside Gregor Townsend, Matt Taylor and Kenny Murray at Scotstoun to oversee the coaching of the forwards.

The former prop, who made over 100 appearances for Connacht from 2000 to 2006, has also played for Richmond and Stade Francais. He was appointed forwards coach at the Sportsground in 2006 and then assistant coach in 2010 of the Irish Province who now regularly challenge for a top six place in the PRO12. Last season they recorded one of the results of the European Cup in recent seasons by beating Toulouse in France.

In 2007, McFarland linked up with Eric Elwood to guide the Ireland Under-20s to a grand slam of victories in the Six Nations Championship.

Commenting on the appointment, Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Dan has done a fantastic job at Connacht over the last nine years and is a high quality technical coach.

“He has an excellent reputation and we believe that he will play a key role in helping to develop a number of our younger players, which he has done really well at Connacht.”

Meanwhile down the M8 came the sad news that Matt Scott has had to undergo further surgery, following an injury to his left shoulder sustained during the final game of the RBS 6 Nations.

It had been hoped that Matt would be able to manage his injury conservatively but following consultation with specialists at Spire Murrayfield the decision to perform an investigative arthroscopy was taken. This resulted in him requiring a further surgical procedure to help deal with his shoulder complaints.

Matt will now continue with his rehabilitation programme with the Edinburgh Rugby medical team and will be unavailable to play for Edinburgh for the rest of the season.

This also puts a dampener on any chances of a settled midfield pairing of note during the World Cup. Mark Bennett may be sleeping more easily, as he is now Scotland’s first choice in the midfield…

6 Responses

  1. Great shame about Matt Scott, as it looks likely that Scotand will have an ‘untested’ centre pairing at the world cup.
    Setting aside hos own persoanl dissapontment, neither Bennett or Horne are large guys, so perhaps Richie Vernon will get an opportunity. Not sure who else is in the picture.

    As for McFarland, happy to see how he makes an impact around the team. I do hope that his employment was Gregors decision based on his knowledge of the man, rather than an enforced decision by the blazers at the RFU.

    1. Assuming a worst case scenario where Dunbar and Scott both miss the World Cup, I’d assume the centres would be Bennett, Horne, Vernon and Taylor. At this rate I’d be starting Horne ahead of Scott anyway, works better with Bennett. Vernon needs to make a proper switch to 12 for Glasgow, he is far less effective as a 13

  2. Having seen Connacht’s forwards obliterate other packs this season I’m excited by this appointment. If anything, we need an Irish forwards coach to help sharpen up our cheating at the breakdown. We are miles behind the Irish and Welsh in that regard.

  3. For a country with such a small pool of top players, the potential loss of Scott and Dunbar (and perhaps Maitland) is a very big blow for the RWC.
    We still have real class in Mark Bennett and Peter Horne, with the bulk of Duncan Taylor as back-up. But what a risk of further now over the coming 5 months – may need to look after all3 very carefully.
    Ritchie Vernon has looked good in recent games at both 12 and 13, and would be a very capable reserve for both. Next in line may be Fraser Lyle who has begun to shine for GW at 12 and seems to be given room to progress (such as GW 7’s role). He could be cover for Peter Horne.

  4. Will be very interesting to see the Glasgow and Edinburgh squads for the first part of the season. Should Hogg,Seymour, Bennett, Dunbar, Horne, Russell, Pyrgos, Weir, Vernon,Lamont be involved in RWC or injured + DTH, Niko & Maitland also unavailable to the Warriors there is a serious lack of experience in the backline. Very exciting times for some youngsters

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion