Steve Diamond hopes fight in training means Edinburgh Rugby can shed 'too nice' tag

Steve Diamond has accused the Edinburgh Rugby squad of being “too nice” and urged them to develop a harder edge.
Steve Diamond is working with Edinburgh as 'lead rugby analyst'. (Photo by Ewan Bootman / SNS Group)Steve Diamond is working with Edinburgh as 'lead rugby analyst'. (Photo by Ewan Bootman / SNS Group)
Steve Diamond is working with Edinburgh as 'lead rugby analyst'. (Photo by Ewan Bootman / SNS Group)

The experienced English coach has only been with the club for nine days but has already made an impact. He revealed there had been a fight in training, although he was careful not to divulge the identities of the protagonists. “I think I got the blame for it,” he smiled.

Diamond, 54, was brought in earlier this month to work alongside outgoing Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair as ‘lead rugby analyst’, a post he will retain until the end of the season. Part of his remit is to compile a report on the state of the club and Diamond has promised it will be “warts and all”. Blair is due to step down after this campaign to concentrate on being an attack coach and Diamond will be involved in the process of finding his successor. He didn’t entirely rule out the prospect of taking over but he did suggest his days of hands-one coaching were behind him. “At the minute, the senior recruiters in the SRU and Edinburgh are looking for a new head coach and I’m going to assist them with that,” said Diamond. “So at this moment that’s not even on the agenda for me [succeeding Blair as head coach]. I want to get through these games. I’ll do a warts-and-all report on where I think it can improve and what’s good and what’s very good – and quite a lot of those things are, if I’m honest. And then see where it stands in July, really. Meanwhile, if the powers that be want me to do due diligence on coaching, then I’ll do that.”

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Having coached for over 20 years, Diamond is happy to lend Edinburgh his experience. While he has been impressed by the talent in the squad, he is not shying away from a run of results which has seen them lose eight of their last nine URC matches. “I think the boys need to be harder on each other,” he said. “There’s sometimes a lethargy. It is disjointed coming away from internationals, but Glasgow are in the same position and they seem to have grasped the nettle. I’ve had that conversation with the squad this week, to be fair. I think we’re a little bit too nice, and it resulted in a fight at training, which is what we want sometimes. You don’t want it all the time, but coming into big games like this you’ve got to be ready for it mentally.”

Edinburgh take on Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in the last 16 of the Heineken Champions Cup on Friday night and Diamond has urged the capital side to stand up to the English champions' physicality. “Matching Jasper Wiese and [Julian] Montoya will be interesting,” he said. “We’ve got a hooker who is as good as him and a back row who should be able to knock ten bells out of him. And that’s what we’re looking for – within the laws of the game.”



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