South Africa’s breakdown expert Richie Gray has joined the Scotland coaching team for the Six Nations.
Gray, who hails from Galashiels and used to play for the Border Reivers and Scotland age group sides, has been appointed “Defensive Contact Specialist” on a consultancy basis by national coach Vern Cotter
Gray has carved out a glowing reptutation for himself in one of the sport’s key areas. He has spent three seasons as South Africa’s specialist breakdown coach, helping the Springboks to a third-place finish as last year’s Rugby World Cup. He has also worked with the ‘Blitzbokke’ sevens side.
The former Gala captain invented the ‘Collision King’ training aid and his latest career move signals a return to the fold for Gray.
He was a Scottish Rugby employee from 1994 and 2006, when he worked as a development manager, academy manager and coach to various Scotland age-grade sides, the South of Scotland, Gala and Biggar RFC.
He said: “It’s a great honour to coach any country but to be offered the opportunity to coach your own is something special indeed.
“The defensive breakdown is an area highlighted by the coaches as an area for improvement, for which I’ve been given a very specific brief to work alongside Defence Coach Matt Taylor for the seven-week period of the RBS Six Nations.
“It’s a great honour and I’m looking forward to joining up with the squad in camp in St Andrews this Sunday.”
Cotter, said: “On behalf of the national team I’d like to welcome Richie to our coaching set-up for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations.
“We’re looking forward to adding his experience and passion to the group.”