Jonny Bell to leave Glasgow Warriors for defence coach role at Worcester

Returning to Cheltenham, where his family feel at home, was the key factor in decision to move on after just one season

Jonny Bell is stepping down as Glasgow Warriors' defence coach at the end of the season. Image: Craig Watson
Jonny Bell is stepping down as Glasgow Warriors' defence coach at the end of the season. Image: Craig Watson

THE search has begun for a new attack coach at Glasgow Warriors after it was announced that Jonny Bell is to leave the club at the end of the current season to take up a role overusing defence with English Premiership side Worcester Warriors.

The 47-year-old Irishman is moving on after just a year at Scotstoun, with the opportunity to return to Cheltenham, where he and his family were based during the five years he spent as a defence coach at Gloucester, the key driver in his decision.

It was a similar scenario in February when contact and breakdown coach Kelly Brown left the club to return to Saracens just five months after his appointment.


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“It is with sadness that I have had to make this decision,” said Bell. “After what has been an incredibly challenging year, it has underlined the fact that my family’s happiness is more important than anything.

“My family have struggled to settle in a new city under the very difficult circumstances that COVID has created, and I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to take them back to a place they have regarded as home for the past six years.

“This move also affords me the opportunity to work once again with Alan Solomons and be part of his exciting plans for Worcester Warriors.

“I am hugely grateful to Danny Wilson, Al Kellock [managing director] and all the players and staff at Glasgow Warriors for their friendship and support during the year and I thank them for supporting this difficult decision.”

“I will continue to give my total commitment to the club for the remainder of the season and they have my very best wishes for the future.”

Head coach Wilson said: “Thank you to Jonny for his excellent and hard work this season, particularly having moved his family to a new city in very difficult circumstances.

“As a club we recognise family comes first, and though it is a shame to lose Jonny we are completely supportive of this move.”


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About David Barnes 2991 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

6 Comments

  1. He was a defence coach in his previous role and will do the same thing at Worcester… yet he was the attack coach at Glasgow.

    Good luck to the man but given Glasgow’s performances this season you need to wonder about his appointment to begin with.

  2. I’m not going to say these coaches are world beaters but when you have 2 significant coaching appointments leaving within a year you have to ask a lot of questions. There are some talented youngsters in the Glasgow setup but what is really happening when two key coaches are leaving in such a short space of time from joining?

    There is no chance of recruiting someone of the quality of an O’Halloran and as much as I’d love to see someone from the domestic game step up, I can’t see from where that is happening. Alarm bells were already ringing but this move sounds it even more.

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    • I know this is bold but perhaps the story is just that 2 coaches have families unable to settle in the city and want to be closer to relatives that they have been unable to see during the pandemic. But please feel free to go down the conspiracy rabbit hole.

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  3. The rest of the Pro14 will be distraught at the news. No matter the SRU will have a sieve in their kitchen that is contracted to them that they will offload to the Warriors tour suite.

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