FORMER Scotland scrum-half and captain Bryan Redpath has been appointed head coach of the national Under-20 team for next month’s World Rugby Championship in France, taking over from Stevie Scott, who oversaw the side during this year’s Six Nations Championship but whose contract with the SRU has now expired.
He will be assisted by Watsonians head coach and former Scotland hooker Steve Lawrie, and former international winger Nikki Walker – who was the attack coach during the Six Nations campaign.
“After 17 years of both playing and coaching in England, I’m delighted to be returning home to coach such a talented group of players,” said Redpath, whose son Cameron played for England Under-20s during this season’s Six Nations.
“I’m really looking forward to working alongside Steve and Nikki, both of whom are gifted coaches, and it’s going to be a great experience leading this squad into next month’s tournament.
“It’s a proud moment for me, and I will hopefully be able to create a platform which then acts as a springboard for some of these players to go onto bigger and better things.”
Redpath earned 60 caps for Scotland between 1993 and 2003, and captained the national side 26 times during that period. He competed at three World Cups in 1995, 1999 and 2003, and was part of the squad which lifted the last-ever Five Nations Championship in 1999. He began his club career at Melrose, then played for RC Narbonne in France before finishing up at Sale Sharks.
He was named as Gloucester’s backs coach in 2005, the club finished top of the English Premiership table in 2007 and 2008, and he became head coach in the summer of 2009. Redpath returned to his old Sale Sharks stomping ground in the summer of 2012, initially as director of rugby, but after a poor start to the 2012-13 campaign, which saw the club lose their first seven league matches, he was downgraded to the role of head coach after just four months in the job.
Redpath moved to English Championship club Yorkshire Carnegie in March 2015, before announcing that he was quitting rugby to take a job in finance last summer, but has now been tempted back to the sport, initially on a short term basis until after the World Cup.
“Bryan Redpath has enjoyed a decorated career as both a coach and a player and he’ll bring a wealth of experience to the role,” said Sean Lineen, head of national age grade for the SRU. “Nikki Walker impressed mightily during the U20 Six Nations, so he’ll also bring continuity with the group, whilst Steve Lawrie has showcased his coaching pedigree throughout his time at BT Premiership level.”
“Under their guidance, we’ll look to push this year’s squad to another successful World Rugby U20 Championship campaign.”
Scotland Under-20 will open the World Championship campaign against Italy in Béziers on Wednesday 30 May (kick-off 6.30pm local time), before facing Argentina in Perpignan on Sunday 3 June (kick-off 2pm local time). The age grade side then return to Béziers to take on England in their final group fixture on Thursday 7 June (kick-off 9pm local time)
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