Scottish Rugby confirmed that Scotland 7s head coach and programme manager Phil Greening has left, while former coach Stephen Gemmell has returned and will lead the abbreviated national side up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next summer.
Gemmell said: “I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the international sevens team again. It’s a massive honour. The last two tournaments have shown the potential that we have, but we need to have greater consistency in our performances. With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Gemmell, previously coached the squad between 2006 and 2010 and led them to nine Cup quarter-finals and two semi-finals in the HSBC Sevens World Series, as well as sixth place in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and to ninth place in the 2009 Dubai Rugby World Cup 7s, where they lifted the Plate trophy. He added to that success returning as interim head coach for Scotland’s last two World Series tournaments in Wellington and Las Vegas. On both occasions the Scots reached, but were knocked out in the Plate finals, effectively finishing sixth in both tournaments.
The Scots will next be in action, in the sixth leg of the series, in Hong Kong on 22 March.
l George Watson’s College lock Neil Irvine-Hess returns to the Scotland squad for tomorrow’s under-18 international match against England at Darlington in the first of five matches the young Scots play this month.
Irvine-Hess, who partners North Berwick High School lock Lewis Carmichael in the second row, joins Watson’s team-mate Ally Millar in the starting XV for tomorrow’s match. The Scots will be without George Horne following a hairline fracture of his ankle four weeks ago.
In his absence, the London Scot, James Lang, who was impressive in the recent under-18 trial match at Murrayfield, is in the pivot position. Lang is paired with the Robert Gordon’s College scrum half Luke Earl-Wright, who comes into the Scotland under-18 team with experience of playing for Aberdeen GSFP in the RBS Premiership.