EDINBURGH have confirmed the appointment Steve Diamond in a role entitled ‘Lead Rugby Consultant’ until the end of the season. The former Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors Director of Rugby will join the club on Monday 20th March and work with the existing coaching team.
His appointment is to support Mike Blair, who announced last month that he is stepping down as head coach at the end of the season so that he can concentrate on his specialist area of attack.
“I’m really excited to take on this role until the end of the season. Edinburgh Rugby is a club with great tradition and history and provides an opportunity to coach in the BKT URC,” said Diamond.
“From the outside looking in, Edinburgh Rugby is a club on the rise. The talent is there, the fanbase is there, while there seems to be a brilliant buzz around the city with the team moving into its new home.
“I’m really looking forward to linking up with Mike [Blair], the coaching staff and the players next week. There are still some massive games to come for the club, including a Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 tie at Welford Road. We have a really exciting challenge ahead of us and it’s one I’m relishing.”
A former hooker who played over 350 senior games for Sale Sharks, Diamond’s coaching career began at his hometown club in 2001. Diamond was then appointed England Saxons coach where he took the reigns for both the 2002 and 2003 Churchill Cup campaigns, before joining Saracens in 2004.
Following a successful stint as Russia’s Director of Rugby, which saw The Bears qualify for Rugby World Cup 2011, he returned to Sale Sharks in 2011, helping them qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup five times while lifting the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2019-20.
After stepping away from Sale Sharks in 2020, Diamond returned to professional rugby with Worcester Warriors in 2022 where he initially worked as ‘Lead Rugby Conultant’ and then as Director of Rugby.
“We’re delighted to welcome Steve to o the club,” said Edinburgh managing director Douglas Struth.
“Steve’s appointment provides additional leadership and insight for the club as we look to finish the BKT URC season on a high, while preparing for this month’s crucial Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 tie against Leicester Tigers, with the opportunity to progress deep into European competition still very much alive.
“With over 20 years of coaching experience in professional rugby, Steve will also play a key role in setting up our pre-season preparations for the upcoming 2023/24 campaign, ready for a new Head Coach to arrive and hit the ground running.
“I’m sure all Edinburgh Rugby supporters will join us in welcoming Steve to the club as he takes charge of match preparations in just over a week’s time.”
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson added: “This is an important time in the season, and we wanted to provide additional support and expertise to the coaching group in light of Mike Blair’s decision to step down at the end of the campaign.
“Steve’s experience speaks for itself and we see his interim role as strengthening further a talented coaching and playing group which still has a lot to play for and our focus on securing an improved run of results in the coming weeks.
“Edinburgh Rugby is an attractive club and we have had significant interest in the head coach role and Steve’s appointment also gives us some space to review our options in the coming weeks.”