News broke last week that the former England number eight Dean Ryan has joined Scotland as forwards coach for their up-coming Six Nations campaign. The ex-coach of Bristol and Gloucester, who also won four caps for England, will join interim Scotland head coach, Scott Johnson, and new skills coach, Stevie Scott, to help improve the fortunes of a declining Scottish set-up.
The Scottish national team are looking to start the new year as they mean to go forward. The team have revamped the coaching unit with Ryan and Scott being brought in to join defence coach Matt Taylor and specialist coaches Duncan Hodge and Massimo Cuttitta, all retained from the Robinson era.
Johnson was clearly happy that the SRU managed to agree terms with Ryan for the up-coming Six Nations, he went on to say that “I’m very happy that we have managed to secure the services of such a big name for Stevie and Scotland for this years Championships. To get people of their caliber mid-season is a real coup”.
Scotland are looking to avoid another wooden spoon performance in this years tournament following an impressive summer tour and a sub-par autumn. Wins against Australia, Fiji and Samoa this summer helped build an optimistic future but with heavy losses to New Zealand, South Africa and an embarrassing defeat to Tonga, all at home, brought them crashing back down to earth.
Ryan said following the announcement “I’ve responded to an invitation from Scott to assist the Scotland management team over the next 12 weeks. I will look to bring in my experience to give Scotland’s players the best opportunity to represent their country in the best way”.
The appointment has been met with mixed feelings, with some seeing it as an insult to Scottish coaches working their way up through the system. What are your thoughts? Is this a positive appointment for the Scots? How will they fare in the Six Nations?
By Alexander McLeman