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Edinburgh confirm head coach delay despite 'excellent' interest

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ewan Bootman/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Edinburgh have delayed the appointment of a head coach successor to Mike Blair, explaining that lead rugby consultant Steve Diamond will instead oversee pre-season preparations for the 2023/24 campaign until at least August.


It was February 24 when Blair, who took charge in the summer of 2021, revealed his intention to step down as head coach due to his desire “to put my energy and knowledge into being a world-class attack coach”.

At the time of that announcement, Scottish Rugby CEO Mark Dodson said: “We are in discussions with Edinburgh and Douglas Struth to find a new head coach for the club, who will update the fans further once this is completed.”

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Nearly 10 weeks later that update has now arrived via a statement from managing director Douglas Struth that was published on the Edinburgh club website. In it, he praised the contribution of Blair and explained why the club wasn’t rushing to appoint his successor.

“An ongoing process is the recruitment of our new head coach with Mike Blair having taken the positive, brave and proactive decision to step back from the role at the end of this season. A huge thank you to Mike for all his efforts over the past two years,” said Struth.


“The quality of interest in the head coach role has been excellent. While we would hope to conclude this process very soon, it is important for the future of the club to get this right, and not to rush. For that reason, Steve Diamond has agreed to oversee the start of our pre-season programme until at least August.

“This allows us to take the necessary time to appoint a permanent head coach, safe in the certainty and security that a coach of Steve’s quality and experience is leading from the front meantime, accompanied by the stability of existing assistant coaches Michael Todd and the recently re-signed Steve Lawrie.”


The MD added: “Our playing group for next season is looking world-class and around 90 per cent Scottish-qualified – an important part of our strategy to ensure that local players can become legends here at Edinburgh.”


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