Kenny Murray appointed as Head of Player Transition

Kenny Murray appointed as Head of Player Transition

​Scottish Rugby has today announced the appointment of Kenny Murray into a new role of Head of Player Transition.

Murray, who has been Assistant Coach at Glasgow Warriors since 2013, will make the move from Scotstoun to BT Murrayfield to take up the new position on Monday, 24 January.

The new Head of Player Transition role has been developed as one of the final positions to be filled in the restructure of the High-Performance Department, overseen by Director of Performance Rugby, Jim Mallinder.

The role has been created to best suit the needs of the department in delivering the new High-Performance strategy with a hands-on approach and a deep involvement in their respective areas.

Murray will provide strategic leadership to ensure a consistent flow of players into Scottish Rugby’s high-performance environments from existing performance pathways. In doing so, he will also lead the Scotland Under-20s programme, taking on the Head Coaching role to enable him to work closely with the players under his remit in a performance environment and utilise his own coaching experience.

He will take charge of Scotland Under-20s ahead of the upcoming Six Nations which begins on Friday, 4 February against England at The DAM Health Stadium.

Following an extensive recruitment process, Murray has been appointed within the role and brings current experience of working in professional rugby and with that the understanding and knowledge of developing players, and the environments they need as they move into professional and high-performance set-ups.

Murray will work with Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors professional and Contracted Academy coaches to identify players with the skills and talent to move in the professional rugby environment and compete in national representative teams.

He takes on the player transition development for the U19 and U20 performance programmes and above, including the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy players, ensuring that the environments they are in are conducive to their successful development.

Murray will work closely with John Fletcher who has recently been appointed as Head of Pathways and Elite Coach Development. Fletcher has responsibilities for high-performance coach development, the U18 national age grade programmes and below, alongside the FOSORC Regional Academy structure.

Fletcher and Murray will work in unison to bridge the gap between the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy Players (who are aligned with Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors) and the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Regional Academies which provide initial high-performance experience for young players and are the first steppingstone in developing players for the professional game.

Murray will also have influence in the FOSROC Super6 where he will ensure the style of rugby being played in the part-time professional league supports the development of players and coaches into the professional game in Scotland.

The role will also have a responsibility for the Scottish Qualified (SQ) recruitment programme as Scottish Rugby looks to identify players into the professional and international rugby environment.

Murray began his coaching journey as Head Coach of Cartha Queens Park where he won Scottish Rugby’s Coach of the Year award in 2006 before moving onto Ayr RFC.

During his time at Ayr he was arguably one of the most successful club coaches of that era. In his first season in charge (2008-2009) he led the Millbrae side to their first Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership title with the Ayrshire side going on to win the RBS Scottish Cup three times under him. He also guided them to the quarter-finals of the British and Irish Cup in 2010-2011, making them the only Scottish side ever to reach the last-eight of the competition.

Murray then joined Gregor Townsend’s coaching staff at Glasgow Warriors ahead of the 2013-2014 season and helped the Scotstoun side lift the PRO12 title in 2014-2015. He has taken charge of the Warriors defence since Danny Wilson’s Head Coach tenure began in the summer of 2020, as well as overseeing the arrival of young FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy graduates such as Ross Thompson, Ollie Smith and Rufus McLean into the senior setup.

On his appointment Kenny Murray said: “Developing the best young talent in Scottish Rugby is something I am incredibly passionate about and this role allows me to develop our existing performance environments and support our young players to achieve their full potential.

“During my time at Glasgow Warriors I have witnessed first-hand the talent coming through our system and I am looking forward to seeing them go from strength to strength by providing our best young players the platform to excel in their professional careers and play for the national team.

“The Under-20s Six Nations is a key platform for our players to develop by competing in a fast-paced competitive competition and I am excited to work with the Scotland squad ahead of their opening match against England.”

Scottish Rugby’s Director of Performance Rugby, Jim Mallinder said: “To have someone who has been at the coal face of the modern professional game in Scotland join as Head of Player Transition will ensure that our next generation of players are best prepared for what is needed, and know what to expect, in the current professional and international rugby environment.

“This new role is a vital cog in our High-Performance Department restructure and will be of benefit to both Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors and the national team as it will allow Kenny to apply a co-ordinated approach, working closely with John Fletcher to ensure our players are provided with the best platform possible to accelerate their development.

“As we start the new year, I’m pleased we’ve been able to complete our High-Performance restructuring plans. I felt it important to change the ways we approach our player, coach and match official development to match the fast-paced professional rugby developments, ensuring our national teams have well rounded people and athletes representing Scotland on the international stage. Having Kenny on board will further strengthen our department and allow us to achieve those goals.”

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