Edinburgh Rugby have today announced that Head Coach Richard Cockerill has left the club “by mutual consent to allow him to pursue other opportunities”.
Cockerill has overseen the past four seasons at the club and despite an immediate positive impact producing a monster pack that could compete with anyone on their day, it could be argued that efforts have stalled in recent seasons. This might be unfair on Cockers, as the faults (poor attacking play, lack of access to his best players consistently) are not wholly of his making or within his remit to solve.
Having had constructive conversations with Jim Mallinder and Mark Dodson post season it was agreed that we would come to an agreement where I would leave the club by mutual consent to pursue other opportunities. I would like to thank everyone at Edinburgh Rugby for the hard work they have put in.Richard Cockerill
Leaving aside the horrible phrasing of “agreeing to agree”, at least the announcement gives Edinburgh some time to find a replacement before the season begins, although if it was agreed a while back you’d hope they have a succession plan in place already with pre-season now underway. No word yet if Cockerill has been lined up anywhere but I’d say he’s done his reputation no harm with Edinburgh. He had recently signed a contract extension due to keep him there until 2023 so it seems a little odd, in terms of the timing unless there has been a falling-out somewhere.
With a number of British Lions in the ranks, it might have been quite an attractive job but now they’ve all signed for Worcester it resembles a rebuilding brief once again – although in an undeniably stronger position than the one Cockerill himself found the club in, and with a suitably sized new stadium to play in.
The club’s initial pre-season preparations will be led by Assistant Coach Calum MacRae and Head of Strength and Conditioning Nick Lumley.
Who should Edinburgh be looking at to come in – would Edinburgh legend Mike Blair fancy the step up, having taken charge of the Scotland squad this summer?