Doddie Weir believes his “old mucker” Carl Hogg should be given the role of Scotland forwards coach when Dan McFarland leaves for Ulster.
Hogg has travelled with Scotland on their summer tour of North America and Argentina as a member of head coach Gregor Townsend’s team to assist McFarland, who has agreed to become the new Ulster boss.
The Englishman is contracted by Scotland until January and it remains to be seen whether an early release is agreed. The SRU has been keen to stress that former Worcester coach Hogg’s presence on the tour is not a “trial” but it clearly gives him an edge in the recruitment process to identify McFarland’s successor.
Weir, pictured below, certainly believes his former Melrose team-mate has the credentials to take over pack chief duties full-time.
“Most definitely. No doubt about it,” said the 61-times capped former Scotland and Lions lock. “He has the experience having been involved for 15-20 years since finishing his playing career, he lives the game and he’s a like a new Jim Telfer. Jim’s passion for the game has certainly rubbed off on Hoggy – he just lives for it.”
Both Weir, 47, and back-rower Hogg, 48, learned their trade from former Scotland and Lions coach Telfer as youngsters as they broke into the phenomenally successful Melrose side of the early 1990s.
Weir was speaking at the launch of his Doddie’5 Ride cycling event which will take place in the Borders on 12 August in aid of his My Name’5 Doddie Foundation which raises funds for research into motor neurone disease, which the rugby legend is now battling.
Hogg won five Scotland caps before forging a coaching career in England with London Welsh, Gloucester and Worcester as well as having a stint at Edinburgh.
“Having Carl involved with the national set-up will just generate that Scottish-ness, which I think has been coming back into the game since Gregor has been in charge,” continued Weir.
“He has played in the jersey, so he knows what it is all about and will be very good at the job.
“I need some new kit as well. I’ve had enough of all that Worcester stuff. I’m looking forward to getting some new Scotland stuff from him, which I think I’ll look quite good in!”
Weir said that even in their young days at Melrose it was clear that Hogg’s studious approach to the game would lend itself to a future in coaching.
“He deserved to get much more out of the game as a player than he did because he was very serious in the way he trained and prepared,” said Weir.
“We would let our hair down after the game – which is what it was all about – but during the week he would analyse the game and do a lot of extra training. I didn’t do as much of that, so I’m maybe quite lucky to be standing here with a few more games for Scotland than he did.
“He definitely deserved to win a few more caps than I did because his attitude was absolutely spot-on, and I think you can see that with the way he does his coaching – he is very serious and very detailed with what he does, and he has a great understanding of what everyone is trying to do.”
l Those wishing to participate in the Doddie’5 Ride can register at www.myname5doddie.co.uk/ride-for-doddie