SCOTTISH rugby has lost one of its most promising young coaches to the English game after Simon Cross agreed to join Dean Ryan and Carl Hogg at Worcester.
The former Edinburgh and Scotland A flanker is widely respected and had been touted as the most likely of the current generation of club coaches to make the step-up to the professional game, working with the Scotland under-20s while head coach at Edinburgh Accies.
Cross was enthusiastic about a role within the new Edinburgh set-up and The Scotsman understands that while senior coaching figures within the SRU had promoted him for an assistant coach position, despite requests from Cross for an indication on whether he could be part of the new management team, no firm offer came his way.
One did, however, from Ryan, who became aware of the 32-year-old’s progress while working as Scotland’s forwards coach during the recent RBS Six Nations Championship.
Ryan was appointed as Richard Hill’s successor at Sixways in April following his temporary stint working alongside Scott Johnson at Murrayfield.
He had already signed up former Scotland back row Hogg, who had turned down an approach from SRU chief executive Mark Dodson to coach Edinburgh, which continues his association with Scottish coaches, having worked with Bryan Redpath and Hogg at Gloucester.
The SRU are known to be chasing former South Africa assistant coach Alan Solomons, currently director of rugby at Super Rugby franchise the Southern Kings, to take over as Edinburgh head coach, among other unknown targets.
But there is still no confirmation of his, or anyone else’s, desire to take on the job more than four months after Michael Bradley, Neil Back and Billy McGinty were effectively sacked.
Edinburgh returned to pre-season training three weeks ago under ‘interim’ coach Stevie Scott, but the appointment delay appears to have cost them another promising young Scot.
It also comes at a time when Dodson is under increasing pressure over his appointment of a succession of non-Scottish coaches to leading positions.