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Mike Blair breaks his silence on Steve Diamond joining Edinburgh

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Mike Blair has welcomed the arrival of Steve Diamond to support him through the closing weeks of his reign as Edinburgh head coach. Experienced former Sale and Worcester director of rugby Diamond was appointed lead rugby consultant until the end of the season after it emerged last month that 41-year-old Blair will step down from his role this summer as he would prefer to focus on developing himself into a world-class attack coach.


Diamond started work with Edinburgh on Monday and Blair has been buoyed by his presence as he bids to see out the remainder of what has been a testing campaign for the team. “It’s flowed really well,” the head coach said on Tuesday.

“Steve started yesterday and we had a good catch-up previously about how we thought things would work. You would have to ask the players but from my point of view, it transitioned really well.

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“He is not coming in to change huge amounts. He is here to let me do my role on the pitch and to be a sounding board for the coaches and another eye to give his opinion on things to help us get a successful end to the season.

“He is an old head, he has been in this role with other clubs, overseeing things, trying to get a bit of a bounce. I have enjoyed the meetings I have had with him and I believe the guys will enjoy having him.


“He is no-nonsense, he is simple. He will make observations, some he might push really hard, some he might say, ‘Look, this is my thoughts but go with what you think’. He will help me out as a sounding board in particular and will oversee what we are doing. He has spoken to us and sees lots of positive stuff going on but is looking for those little two percenters that can get us over the line.”

It has been speculated that Blair will stay on as attacking coach under a new Edinburgh head coach next term but the current incumbent insists his own situation remains unclear. “I’m not sure yet,” he said. “We will wait and see how things play out over the next two or three weeks.


“As I have always said, we will wait until the new head coach comes in to see if he likes the look of me and I like the look of him and if we believe we can work together, and then a decision can be made between Edinburgh and myself after that.”

Edinburgh are set to welcome back their talismanic Scotland winger Darcy Graham for Saturday’s match away to Connacht after almost four months out with a knee injury. “It’s brilliant to have Darcy back,” said Blair. “He has been training for a couple of weeks now and he’s looking sharp.

“He was playing the best rugby of his life before his injury and having him back has provided a boost for the guys because he adds a spark.”


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