National coach conundrum with no stand-out Scotsman

SCOTLAND legend Peter Wright believes the most worrying part of Andy Robinson's resignation as head coach is the lack of a viable Scot as a successor.

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Former Scotland and British Lions prop Peter Wright
Former Scotland and British Lions prop Peter Wright

Under Robinson, Scotland had lost 10 of their last 13 matches, including being knocked out of the World Cup in New Zealand last year at the group stage for the first time.

A 2012 Six Nations wooden spoon followed with the sad Scots losing all five games, and although Robbo was boosted by wins in Australia, Fiji and Samoa on the summer tour, defeats in the Autumn EMC Test Series at the hands of New Zealand and South Africa, followed by Saturday's catastrophic 21-15 loss to Tonga, forced him to fall on his sword.

Now, although SRU chief executive Mark Dodson has confirmed the search for a successor will begin right away, Wrighty believes the most negative part of that process is that the next head coach will almost certainly not be a Scot.

Wright said: "I think the most worrying aspect of this whole situation is that there is no Scottish option as a successor to Robinson.

"The people who have to take the blame for that are the SRU. We are now in a position where the Performance Director has gone, there is no Director of Rugby and now no head coach.

"The fact there is no real Scottish option is a damming indictment of the SRU and their coaching pathway.

"I think everyone coaching in the Scottish game has to look at themselves, but the fact remains that the SRU have the responsibility to develop Scottish coaching talent and right now there is no Scot who can step up and fill the breach left for the Six Nations."

Although Robinson had avoided announcing his resignation in the aftermath of Saturday's defeat to Tonga, the Englishman was seen in heated and protracted discussions with SRU chief executive Mark Dodson after the game.

But after a night to reflect on a series of Autumn Test results that have seen Scotland drop to 10th in the IRB rankings and left them, disastrously, in the third pot of seeds for the Rugby World Cup draw in December, Robbo jumped.

He said: "It has been a privilege to be the head coach of Scotland and I'd like to thank the fans, players, coaches and staff for all their support over the past few years.

"I believe I have left the team in a better position than when I took over. I am very disappointed by our recent results, but I have belief in the players to develop into a winning team."

Head coach of the Under-20 national side, Sean Lineen, is the current favourite with Scottish bookmaker McBookie to take the job but, in the short term, the most viable option may be Scott Johnson, Robinson's Australian senior assistant coach, who was only appointed in June.

Former Scotland and British Lions star Wrighty said: "Right now I would say the commonsense approach would be for the SRU to take their time.

"It may be best to run with Johnson and see how things pan out over the Six Nations."


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