Edinburgh Rugby can expect an immediate bounce from the temporary appointment of two ex-players following the sacking of coaches Michael Bradley and Neil Back.
Ian Rankin coached Edinburgh when interims Duncan Hodge and Stevie Scott were coming through the ranks and he declared today: “There were some lads in the team like Simon Cross who you just knew would move into coaching.
“While Simon went to small clubs to learn the trade Duncan in particular has got there by a slightly different route. Having started out as a kicking coach he has acquired enough knowledge working with Scotland to be given a role across the Edinburgh back-line.”
Scott’s route has taken him to a Scotland skills post via spells at Selkirk and Sale Sharks and Rankin believes fresh faces can provide a lift.
“To be honest, from the moment it was announced that Michael Bradley would be leaving at the end of the season I thought it inevitable he’d struggle to stay that course. It is difficult to keep focus in circumstances where you are leaving and retain support from players.
“I am close enough to things [he coaches Premiership Dundee] and part of a group of club coaches privileged to have a watching brief at Scotland training one day a week with Scott Johnson to know there is plenty of talent in the Edinburgh dressing-room.
“The so-called ‘bounce’ when a new coach comes in does happen and we’ve seen it with Scotland; players try harder to respond to a new hand on the tiller and an extra few percentages out of everyone can lift
Edinburgh. It is an especially important time of the year, too, for the new coaches because this is the time to be looking
seriously at the club scene.
“There are players out there keen to earn a chance in the professional game and their efforts need to be acknowledged.”
The new combination’s first match in charge will be at home to Ulster on Friday, March 22 followed by Zebre (a), Connacht (h), Treviso (a) and Dragons (h).