Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend (round of applause) has added former Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair to his coaching team ahead of Scotland’s 2017 summer tour.
Blair has been developing as a skills coach at Glasgow alongside Townsend and will join fellow assistants Matt Taylor and Dan McFarland in taking the step up to international level following the 1872 Cup decider on Saturday. His areas of responsibility will be assisting with the attack, improving skills as well as working specifically with the scrum-halves.
The cap scrum half – who was capped 85 times for Scotland and toured with the Lions in 2009 – will also retain his Glasgow duties and responsibilities outside of the test-match windows as an assistant to Dave Rennie and Jason O’Halloran.
In short, if Carlsberg did skills coach apprenticeships… etc.
As a boost ahead of the final game of the season for Scotland’s other pro team, John Hardie has re-signed a deal with Edinburgh Rugby but it is just for one-year.
He joined Edinburgh after the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and has since made 19 appearances for Edinburgh and almost as many Scotland caps at 15. It is perhaps an indication of both his value to the national side but also his troubles with injuries in the intervening periods.
The length of the deal is interesting for a player of his undoubted calibre. Much as with WP Nel, if he had been fit more consistently you imagine there might have been some big offers from England or France on the table but perhaps repeated injury layoffs have reduced those, and this is a chance for him to prove his fitness in pursuit of an extension with Edinburgh or a move elsewhere.
In other news, Edinburgh centre Michael Allen has announced his retirement from professional rugby at the end of the season, aged 26. He and his family will remain in the capital as he pursues a career in the financial sector.