FORMER Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle has been appointed to the equivalent role in Scotland as successor to Shade Munro.
Doyle has had two spells in charge of the Irish team, between 2003 and 2006, and then between 2010 and 2014, during which time he oversaw a Grand Slam in 2013 and a third place finish at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“I am delighted we have been able to secure a coach who has the experience and proven record of success in the women’s international game that Philip has,” said Gemma Fay, Head of Women and Girls Rugby at Scottish Rugby.
“We are at an important moment in the Scotland Women squad development cycle as we prepare for the World Cup qualification process and I believe that Philip has the right experience to be able to take us through this period and compete for a place in the tournament.”
Since stepping down from the Ireland Women coaching team in 2014, Doyle has continued to be active in coaching and has had roles at Ulster Women’s Rugby and Blackrock College RFC.
“I am very excited to take on this appointment and look forward to getting stuck in and getting to know the Scottish players,” said Doyle.
“We don’t have long in real terms until the World Cup Qualification process begins but I am confident that with some hard work we will have sufficient time to develop further in working towards this objective.”
Scottish Rugby Technical Director Stephen Gemmell welcomed the appointments. “Given where we are in the performance calendar it was important this group of players could be led and developed by a coach with international experience ahead of the qualification phase of the Rugby World Cup,” he said.
“We wanted someone with a proven track record at this level and Philip’s achievements made him the outstanding candidate.”
Doyle’s contract initially runs until the end of the qualification period for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup when both parties will have an opportunity to review the role going forward.
Scotland lost all five matches in this year’s Six Nations and failed to qualify for the 2017 World Cup. In order to qualify for the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand, they must win a standalone qualification tournament which will be held in September 2020, where they will face Ireland, Italy and the winner of the 2020 Rugby Europe women’s championship.