Peter Murchie surprised by his rapid rise up the coaching ladder and relishing the chance to tour with Scotland

Peter Murchie admits he has been surprised by the speed of his rise up the coaching ranks but is ready to grasp the opportunity to be part of this summer’s Scotland tour.

Peter Murchie returned to his former club Glasgow Warriors as assistant coach in March. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

The 35-year-old was appointed assistant coach of Glasgow Warriors as recently as March after impressive spells in charge of Ayr and the Ayrshire Bulls.

He then got the call to be part of the national team’s summer programme which begins with an A international against England in Leicester on June 27 and concludes with a short tour of eastern Europe where Scotland will play Tests against Romania on July 10 and Georgia seven days later.

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“I didn’t expect to be in the national team set-up within that time,” said Murchie, who has gone from Super6 to Scotland in less than three months. “But that’s how this game works. I guess I realised that as a player - things can change quickly. You just try to be your best and try to improve and, if you get opportunities, try to take them.

Peter Murchie enjoyed great success as coach of Ayr then had a spell in charge of the Ayrshire Bulls Super6 side.

“This is a great opportunity for me, this summer with Scotland, and being back with Glasgow has been awesome as well. I’m grateful for it and keen to make the most of it.”

With Gregor Townsend away with the Lions, Mike Blair will be in charge of the national side. Steve Tandy, the Scotland defence coach, is also in the Lions coaching team in South Africa so Murchie will cover defensive duties for Scotland.

In the absence of the eight Scotland players called up by the Lions, Murchie expects the national squad to have a more youthful feel. And with two rounds of Rainbow Cup fixtures remaining, there are still opportunities for Scottish-based contenders to stake a claim.

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Murchie twice toured South Africa with Scotland, winning three caps, and appreciates the benefits of going away with the national side.

“With the players selected for the Lions, it’s an opportunity for a different group to be together,” he said. “It’s likely to be a slightly younger group so it should be a good couple of weeks together.

“There are opportunities with the fixture against England as well. It’s a bit more motivation for guys at this time of year. I’m sure there are players at Edinburgh and Glasgow - and outwith those teams - who are looking to get on the summer tour. It’s a great thing to do, to tour with your country.”

After a free week, Glasgow will return to action on Saturday when they face Dragons in Cardiff. Having notched back-to-back victories over Edinburgh, the Warriors find themselves third in the Rainbow Cup standings and in with a chance of qualifying for the final. Murchie is reluctant to look too far ahead but knows a win this weekend and another in their final group match against Leinster at Scotstoun on June 4 would leave them well placed.

“We’ve obviously looked at the table but we’re probably best when we concentrate on the week ahead,” said the former full-back. “We’re in with a shout but there are other things that are outwith our control. We’ve got the Dragons in Cardiff this weekend which is within our control and we know that if we win we’re in a good position going into the last game.”

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