Alasdair Dickinson is a major coup as Glasgow Warriors recruit ex-Scotland prop as scrum coach

Danny Wilson has hailed the recruitment of Alasdair Dickinson to the Glasgow Warriors coaching team as a major coup.

Alasdair Dickinson was capped 58 times by Scotland. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA

The 58-times capped former Scotland prop is leaving Premiership league leaders Bristol Bears to become the Scotstoun club’s scrum coach.

Dickinson, who retired in 2018, played in three Rugby World Cups and was previously a scrum coach with the SRU, working with Scotland Women, Scotland U20s and the Scottish Rugby Academies.

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The 37-year-old is highly regarded and will join up with Glasgow in the summer.

Alasdair Dickinson will leave Bristol Bears to become Glasgow Warriors scrum coach in the summer. Picture: Getty Images

“I’m really excited and pleased with that recruitment,” said Wilson, the Warriors head coach. “Al’s somebody I did a little bit of work with for the [2019] World Cup in terms of the specialist work around looseheads, and I was impressed with his scrum knowledge and his scrum ability.

“His playing background speaks for itself - he’s a proud Scotsman and he’ll add passion. To get him back from a Premiership giant, the Premiership leaders, is really pleasing.

“Pat [Lam, Bristol’s head coach] has been extremely positive. I’ve spoken to Pat a fair bit about Al and it was all done very amicably, which is good.”

Wilson believes Dickinson’s expertise can have a major impact on Glasgow’s set-piece.

“It’s a very specific area of the game and he’s a very knowledgeable ex-pro who’s gone to Bristol and done a good job, and that’s another big step coaching in an environment with full-time, top end pros. That in itself will have been a great experience which will add to us.”

Wilson turns his focus this week to the Rainbow Cup, the new competition involving 12 clubs from the Guinness Pro14 and the four South African Super Rugby franchises.

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Glasgow open against familiar foes, Benetton, in Treviso on Saturday, and the Warriors squad is boosted by the presence of their large Scotland contingent. Wilson will seek the right blend, as he looks to continue to integrate promising young players such as Ross Thompson and Rufus McLean who impressed during the international window.

“If we look at the player base at the moment, ours has increased by about 14 international players,” said Wilson. “Lots of people asked if I would be playing the youngsters through the competition. We’ve been playing the younger guys, or a combination, throughout this season, so now is an opportunity to play those combinations and for me to learn a lot more about them, and to play our better players.”

After Benetton, Glasgow will host Edinburgh at Scotstoun on May 7 in the 1872 Cup decider.

“I know the 1872 Cup is only between two clubs, but there’s the pride of winning that,” said Wilson. “Glasgow have only won it once in the last six years, and we’ve spoken about not having won it enough. Getting a win at home to win that would be great for us, and a step in the right direction.

“The derbies are always the biggest games of the season in terms of club games. We’ve had a lot of derbies, but this one has got a lot riding on it.”

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