SEAN LINEEN – whose job description already includes being head of Scottish Rugby Academies, national age-grade teams and Super6 ‘on field development’ – has been announced as the head coach of the Scotland Under-20s programme this season, with his old Glasgow Warriors partner in crime Shade Munro joining him as assistant coach.
Lineen last coached the Under-20s team in 2015, when a side containing Zander Fagerson, Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury, Scott Cummings, George Horne, Blair Kinghorn and Rory Hutchinson achieved its first top eight finish in the World Rugby U20 Championships.
Former international second-row Munro was forwards coach with Warriors between 2003 and 2015, then spent four years as head coach of Scotland Women’s team before shifting to a role in the Glasgow academy programme.
Scotland were relegated from the World Rugby U20 Championships in June 2019 and will now compete in the second tier World Rugby U20 Trophy at the start of the 2020-21 season.
“The decision to bring in Lineen and Munro’s experience for the coming season is based on developing the current U20 group further alongside a recognition the country’s aspiring players have a clear objective to return to World Rugby U20 Championship level at the earliest opportunity,” said a statement issued this morning by the SRU. “To create continuity through the senior age-grade teams Lineen and Munro will also coach the Scotland U19 side.
Lineen and Munro will be assisted by Fosroc Scottish Rugby Edinburgh Academy manager Graeme Beveridge as team manager and joined in conditioning roles by Jared Deacon, Allyn Preece and Scotland’s highest capped player Ross Ford, who has started an S&C career in the Borders Academy this summer.
“Sean and Shade’s coaching experience will be key in this coming season as we work hard to return to the top table at U20 level. For our future development of Scotland players it is key our U20 are competing at an appropriate level against the best players in that age group and we need to ensure we put the appropriate coaches with the squad to support this,” said Scottish Rugby Technical Director, Stevie Gemmell.
“We have a healthy number of coaches now in the Scottish Rugby pathway through the arrival of Super6 and the appointment of Ciaran Beattie to Scotland 7s from Heriot’s Rugby and Stevie Lawrie joining Edinburgh from Watsonians Rugby to name just a few, so we decided to bring in some of our most experienced people in Sean and Shade to extend their work with the Academy playing group.”