Munro takes new coaching challenge with national team

Scottish Rugby has confirmed Glasgow Warriors assistant coach, Shade Munro, will be the new head coach of the Scotland Women’s team.

Shade Munro

Munro will move into the role over the summer and is charged with progressing the women’s national side in line with the forthcoming National Strategy for Women & Girls’ Rugby which is being developed by Head of Women & Girls' Rugby, Sheila Begbie MBE.

The 48-year-old former lock, capped seven times for Scotland, has worked his way up the coaching ladder since retiring from playing in 1997 and will bring 18 years of coaching experience to the role.

After coaching initially at club level with Glasgow Hawks, Munro moved on to Glasgow Warriors as assistant coach in 2002, was part of the Scotland coaching set-up in 2006 and, as head coach in 2013, helped Scotland A to victory over England for the first time south of the border. 

Munro said: “I’ve got a lot of experience in professional rugby and I’m keen to bring that to the women’s game, to link the two and move the team on. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.

“The aspect I’m personally looking forward to is being in a position to head up the operation – to be a head coach of a national squad is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. This gives me the opportunity to do so and see how I can bring the skills I have into a different playing environment. 

“I’ll be able to take stock of the women’s game and look at all aspects – from the club coaches to the strength and conditioners to the team itself – and working in conjunction with Sheila, to bring a different edge to the national team programme.

“I’ll be coming in with a blank sheet and no preconceived ideas so it’s a fresh start for the players as well as me.”

Scottish Rugby’s Head of Women’s and Girls’ rugby, Sheila Begbie MBE said: “We're absolutely delighted to welcome Shade as our women's national coach.

“He will support us to take the women's game to the next level in Scotland as he has a wealth of knowledge and experience working within a high performance environment.

“Shade has had an outstanding career to date, most recently being part of the Glasgow Warriors success in the Guinness PRO12.

“I'm sure everyone involved in women's rugby in Scotland will be excited by Shade’s appointment and will see him as a very welcome addition to the women's game.

"We would like to thank Jules Maxton and her management team for their significant contribution to the Women’s National Team programme over the past couple of years."

Notes to editors

Donald Shade Munro, born in Paisley in 1966, is a grandson of JM Bannerman, who was capped in thirty-seven consecutive matches for Scotland (a world record at the time).

Shade played for Glasgow High/Kelvinside RFC throughout his club career, enjoying two stints in New Zealand. In 1987 he played for club side Greytown going on to represent the provincial team, Wairarapa Bush in a Ranfurly Shield Challenge. In 1997 he played for Te Puke Sports and again went on to represent the provincial team, Bay of Plenty, in 14 games.

He was selected for Scotland to tour New Zealand in 1990 but broke his leg playing for the national side against a West of Scotland International Select, an injury that kept him out of the game for two years. 

Munro went on to win seven caps for Scotland, making his debut against Wales in Cardiff in January 1994. His last Test also came against Wales, at BT Murrayfield three years later.

Following his retirement from playing, in 1997, he turned to coaching with Glasgow Hawks 2nd XV. He was then made Assistant Coach of the 1st XV, moving on to be Head Coach a year later, a position he held for the next three seasons before joining Glasgow Warriors as Assistant Coach.

Since then he has worked as the club's forwards coach under head coaches Hugh Campbell, Sean Lineen and Gregor Townsend.

He was a member of the Scotland coaching team in 2006, under Frank Hadden, when the national side beat France, England and Italy. As head coach of Scotland A, he lead the side to their first win on English soil at that level, beating the Saxons 13-9 in Newcastle in 2013.

In addition to his time as a player in New Zealand, he returned to the country in 2013 as a recipient of the Macphail Coaching Scholarship, developing his skills further at the Canterbury High Performance Unit.