MIKE BLAIR will fill the gap created by Gregor Townsend’s Lions call-up by stepping in as interim head coach of the Scotland team this summer.
A Scotland A team will play opponents who have yet to be confirmed in late June, before the full national side heads to Europe to face Romania on 10th July and Georgia on 17th July in Test matches.
Kick-off times, venues and broadcast arrangements are to be confirmed.
Defence coach Steve Tandy will also be away with the Lions this summer, while it is hoped that a number of players will be in Warren Gatland‘s squad when it is announced next Thursday.
Blair has been part of the Scotland management team since 2017 as attack coach and will be joined by Scotland forwards coach John Dalziel, scrum coach Pieter de Villiers and Peter Murchie, who was capped three time at full-back back in 2013 and 2014, and has been head coach of Ayrshire Bulls and was appointed an assistant coach at Glasgow Warriors earlier this season.
Scottish Rugby’s Director of High Performance, Jim Mallinder, will also join the tour to support the new coaching group.
“I’d like to thank Gregor and Jim for this opportunity to lead the Scotland summer tour and I’m looking forward to continuing to build the positive culture and results we have achieved in recent months,” said Blair.
“This tour gives us the chance to work with a wider group of players and see how they can step up into the international game, whilst also continuing to look to improve with our established Scotland players.
“The three matches will present very different challenges and as a squad and coaching group we will be looking to continue to create depth and competition for places within strong team performances.”
Malinder added: “In what will be a busy summer of rugby I am pleased we will have three meaningful fixtures for Scotland in the summer tour window.
“The opportunity to put out a Scotland A side enables the coaches to see and work with a wider group of players with an eye on the future, before we face two test matches, away from home, against quality opposition in Georgia and Romania.
“It also gives me personally a chance to spend time with coaches and players which will help develop those important relationships and connections that come with spending an extended period of time together.”