Nick Scrivener, Edinburgh’s senior assistant coach, and former Scotland hooker Stevie Scott, who has fulfilled the role of specialist throwing coach with the national team this season, are to join head coach Sean Lineen as the key management personnel for Scotland A’s defence of the IRB Nations Cup in Romania in June.
One of the first decisions the management group has made – in tandem with Scotland head coach Andy Robinson and Scottish Rugby’s Director of Performance Rugby, Graham Lowe – is to seek to accelerate the development of promising young Scottish stand-offs - Alex Blair and Duncan Weir.
Lowe said: “As high performance coaches we believe it makes sense that we look at the opportunities to which we can expose some of our up and coming young talent over the summer.
“So, in discussion with Eamon John, the Scotland under-20 head coach, we are recommending that Alex Blair, the 19-year-old National Academy player, will now be part of the Scotland A squad for the IRB Nations Cup in Bucharest.
“Furthermore we are recommending that Duncan Weir, who has already been part of the Scotland under-20 squad this season and was a key figure for the national under-19 team in their victories over their Italian and French counterparts, will now be involved with the Scotland under-20 squad to the IRB Junior World Championships in Argentina in June.”
Blair (Edinburgh Accies) and Weir (Glasgow Hawks) have both played for their respective clubs in Scottish Hydro Premiership Division 1 this past season and both have now been promoted from the National Academy and will start next season as professional players, Blair with Edinburgh and Weir with Glasgow.
Robinson said: “Within the national management team we spoke earlier in the season about our desire to develop stand-offs and both Gregor Townsend and Duncan Hodge have been working on that project.
“Stand off is a key position and if we can develop more players to compete alongside Dan Parks, Phil Godman, Ruaridh Jackson, David Blair and Colin Gregor then that can only be for the benefit of Scottish Rugby overall.”
Scotland A’s matches in the IRB Nations Cup will be on Friday 11 June against Georgia with an 8pm kick-off local time (6pm UK time); on Tuesday 15 June against Namibia, kick-off 6pm local (4pm UK); and on Sunday 20 June against Argentina Jaguars, kick-off 8pm local (6pm UK).
Scotland under-20 will play pool matches against Australia in Santa Fe on Saturday 5 June; against South Africa in Santa Fe on Wednesday 9 June; and against Tonga in Parana on Sunday 13 June.