Lions Join Coaching Teams For Emerging Talent

A former Scotland captain and a fellow British Lion are among the coaching and management teams of the country's emerging talent announced today.  Tom Smith and Craig Chalmers, two iconic players in the last two decades of Scottish rugby, will be teaming up anew as part of the management team for the Scotland under-20 side, whose season will culminate with a World Cup in Japan.  Henry Edwards, Scottish Rugby’s Head of Performance, said: "In finalising the management of each of our national age-group squads we are seeking to provide the opportunity to develop some of our existing coaches at the same time as we introduce some new faces. Career development and succession planning are important considerations too as we aim to give our best young players the guidance and support to have the best chance of success."

Smith, who captained Scotland during the 2001 Autumn Tests and was a Lion in South Africa in 1997 and Australia in 2001, will be joining the Scotland under-20 management as an assistant coach concentrating on forward play.

Still playing at first team level for Northampton Saints in the Guinness Premiership, the 61-times-capped Smith is currently working on his UKCC Level 2 coaching certificate and is keen to extend his coaching involvement, without diminishing his commitment to the Saints.

He said: “Coaching is always something that’s interested me and it’s something I’m relatively new to. I guess a lot of coaching now is about your relationship with the players and getting across the standards you expect from them all across the spectrum, not necessarily just on the field. The days of bawling, screaming and shouting are over. It’s about letting each player know one by one how they can improve their game.”

Chalmers, the 60-times capped stand-off from Scotland’s 1990 Grand Slam triumph and member of the Lions tour to Australia in 1989, who coached Melrose to the Scottish Hydro Electric Cup last season, will be assigned to the Under-20 team as part of his career development.

Edwards said: “We want to involve those who are committed to putting something back into the game after their playing experience so the former Scotland hooker Stevie Scott, Edinburgh’s club captain Simon Cross, who is already coaching Murrayfield Wanderers, and Glasgow Hawks backs coach Davy Wilson will be joining Craig Chalmers in being allocated to each of the national age-group squads.”

Chalmers said:”I’m delighted to get this chance to be involved coaching some of the countries best young players at national level. When I played at Worcester I had a year when I coached their academy. I’ve coached at Melrose for the last three to four years and hopefully I can be an asset and help the players to progress.”

Within the Scotland under-20 management, Eamon John will be head coach during the shadow Six Nations Championship. Edinburgh’s assistant coach Rob Moffat, who will be with the under-20s in a mentoring capacity during the Championship, will take on the role of Head Coach for the IRB Junior World Championship in Japan in June, with Eamon John as assistant.

Full list of managements:

Scotland under-20
Head coach: Eamon John
Assistant coach: Tom Smith
Mentor: Rob Moffat
Continuous Professional Development Coach: Craig Chalmers
Manager: John Jeffrey
Defence Coach: Gary Mercer
Fitness: Mark Drury
Video Analyst: Murray Fleming
Media manager: Michael James
Team administrator: Ann McKinsley
Doctor: Dave Pugh
Physio: Paul McGinley

Scotland under-19

Head coach: Colin Robertson
Assistant coaches: Bob McKillop and Graham Shiel
Continuous Professional Development Coach: Davy Wilson
Manager: Paul Kesterton
Assistant manager: John Gillies
Fitness: Ian Cleland
Video analyst: Stephen Gray
Media manager: Andrew Sleight
Team administrator: Ann McKinsley
Doctor: Brian Walker
Physio: Sandi Lyall

Scotland under-18

Head coach: Grant McKelvey
Assistant coaches: Graham Marshall and Alex Duncan
Continuous Professional Development Coach: Simon Cross
Manager: Euan Kennedy
Assistant manager: John Manson
Fitness: Val Houston
Video analyst: Murray Craig
Media manager: Michael James
Team administrator: Ann McKinsley
Doctor: Michael Proudfoot
Physio: Nicola McGuire


Scotland under-17

Head coach: Bryan Easson
Assistant coaches: Gordon Henderson and Mark Appleson
Continuous Professional Development Coach: Stevie Scott
Manager: Rob Charters
Fitness: Gary Dempsey
Video analyst: Roddy Deans
Media Manager: Isobel Irvine
Team administrator: Ann McKinsley
Doctor: Jon Turvill
Physio: Sally Vint


Scotland under-20

v Glasgow back-up squad, Monday 13 January, Whitecraigs, kick-off 3pm
v Edinburgh back-up squad, Monday 20 January venue and kick-off tbc
v Wales u-20, Friday 6 February, home venue and kick-off tbc
v France u-20, Friday 13 February, Macon, kick-off tbc
v Italy u-20, Friday 27 February, home venue and kick-off tbc
v Ireland u-20, Friday 13 March, home venue and kick-off tbc
v England u-20, Friday 20 March, Worcester, kick-off 8pm
Junior World Championships, June, Japan

Scotland under-19

v Scottish Exiles under-19, Sunday 7 December, Percy Park, Newcastle, kick-off tbc
v Italy u-19, Sunday 1 March, Lasswade, kick-off 12 noon

Scotland under-18

v England AER, Sunday 22 March, Kingston Park, Newcastle, kick-off 2pm
v Boys Clubs of Wales u-19, w/e 27-29 March, venue and kick-off tbc
v Leicester squad, Leicester, Sunday 5 April, kick-off tbc
under-18 Six Nations Festival, 11-19 April, Parma, Italy

Scotland under-17

Preparation match, Sunday 29 March
Millfield Festival, three matches between 6-12 April at Millfield, Somerset