FORMER Scotland lock Scott Murray has been appointed as forwards coach by French Top 14 strugglers Mont-de-Marsan.
• Scott Murray played 87 times for Scotland and appeared in three world cups
• Murray has been playing in the French Top 14 with Mont-de-Marsan after spells at Castres and US Montauban
• Mont-de-Marsan have struggled this season and lie at bottom of the league table
The club said in a statement that their results this season had been unsatisfactory and that
forwards coach Marc Dantin had been switched to other responsibilities.
The Aquitaine club currently prop up the Top 14 league table after registering just one win in 12 matches. Their most recent outing saw them lose 31-15 at home to Castres before the Heineken Cup break.
Dantin was formerly coach of second division Perigueux before arriving at Mont-de-Marsan in southwest France in June. He replaced Marc Dal Maso, who opted to stand aside after the club won promotion to the top flight.
Murray, 36, who was capped 87 times for Scotland – five as captain – also joined Mont-de-Marsan in June as a player after three years in French rugby at Montauban and Castres.
The former pupil of Preston Lodge is an ex-Scotland basketball international and played for Edinburgh Accies before heading south for stints at Bedford and Saracens. He returned for a five-year stint at Edinburgh
before leaving for France in 2007, where he has enjoyed the twilight of his career.
Murray played in three Rugby World Cup tournaments (1999, 2003 and 2007) and became Scotland’s most-capped player when he made his 83rd appearance for his country in the RBS Six Nations Championship match against Ireland at Murrayfield in March 2007, surpassing Gregor Townsend’s previous record. He currently stands as Scotland’s second most-capped player behind Chris Paterson.
He was selected for the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia in 2001 but suffered a rib injury in a midweek match and did not feature in any of the Tests.
A statement released by Mont-de-Marsan said: “After a first half of the season results do not conform to the ambitions of the club.
“The board of directors of Rugby Stade Montois and its President, Jean Robert Cazeaux, have decided to reorganize the coaching staff and have asked Marc Dantin to withdraw from his position while staying at the club in a new role.
“In accordance with all players and staff, it has been proposed that Scott Murray takes over the forwards.”
Murray has two years left on his playing contract but, speaking last week ahead of his former club Edinburgh’s Heineken Cup clash with Racing Metro, he
suggested that he saw his future in coaching.
“It is something that certainly interests me, although I suspect it might be in France rather than back home,” he said.