Steve Diamond to take over as Edinburgh head coach

Mike Blair to stay on as an assistant focussing on attack

Steve Diamond has been appointed head coach of Edinburgh until the end of the season. Image: © Craig Watson -
Steve Diamond has been appointed head coach of Edinburgh until the end of the season. Image: © Craig Watson -

STEVE DIAMOND – the former Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors director of rugby – has been appointed Edinburgh head coach until at least the end of the season.

The 55-year-old replaces Mike Blair, who announced his intention to step down from the head coach role a fortnight ago, but who will stay on as attack coach until at least the end of his contract in the summer.

Diamond – a former hooker who played over 350  games for Sale between 1989 and 2000, and who toured Argentina and Australia with England in 1997 but was not capped 1997 – became a free-agent when Worcester Warriors entered administration in September. He is expected to be formally unveiled by Edinburgh on Friday.

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According to Rugby Pass, who broke this story, Diamond is keen to recruit former England No 8 Nick Easter, who he worked with at Worcester Warriors, as defence specialist should he remain in the job long term.

Rugby Pass have also reported that Edinburgh are attempting to recruit Scotland international hooker Ewan Ashman, who played under Diamond at Sale, for next season.

Ashman has two years remaining on his Sharks contract but Edinburgh are understood to be willing to significantly increase his current salary.

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About David Barnes 3891 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.


  1. multiple bans for abusing fans and officials.
    Abusing a disabled woman for asking him to cut out the continuous stream of swearing at the ref
    Threatening to take a journo outside for a punch up (and backing down when journo stood to his full height and moved to go out cos he is a coward)
    Ordering a player had been knocked out to stay on the pitch (twice I think). Thinks HIAs are nonsense

    Just the man for Edinburgh

  2. All I can say is a very big “Welcome”. Some fresh coaching blood not only to Edinburgh but the URC. Mike B as attack coach, supposedly Nick Easter for defense and Ashman up from Sale for next season. All great for Edinburgh and Scottish rugby

  3. It seems with coaches there are so many variables that except for a very few, it’s virtually impossible to predict how the appointment will turn out and is so subjective. Dave Rennie’s appointment was generally greeted very favorably and was considered a top quality coach; did he and Warriors make great bedfellows? The often lamented Stern Vern has had very mixed results since leaving the SRU. Coaches should have warnings like stock market investments – performance can go down as well as up, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. He’s obviously not a rookie so will just have to see how it goes. Good luck to him and hope we’re all singing his praises at the end of the season.

    • Rennie did OK at Glasgow I thought.
      It probably depends on how the coach likes to play and the identity of the team.
      Scottish teams have usually relied on movement and pace over power so if you get a coach who wants to implement a lot of structure and a power game maybe it doesn’t suit them.

  4. I seem to recall Smith’s appointment at Glasgow wasn’t greeted with unanimous enthusiasm either. Someone had to sort out Edinburgh and there’s no doubting Diamond knows how to run a club, so, as he’s got the job, let’s give him a chance.

  5. I don’t know a great deal about Steve Diamond other than when he was with Worcester they didn’t exactly sparkle, and there certainly seems to be a touch of the Marmite about his ability according to the comments here, however it does seem he took over at Sale at the bottom and at the time of his departure for what appears to have been genuine personal reasons, they were at the top end of the league.
    The one aspect I do wonder about is if he is only there as a temporary ‘plaster’ till the end of the season it offers a very limited opportunity to discover his ability, times change, style of play changes, how will his style meld in, and just how many fixtures remain, there can’t be that many, a modicum of caution surely is required rather than ‘we must be seen to be doing something’ hopefully there will be a sensible assessment rather than just ‘Rubber stamping’ a somewhat rushed appointment.
    With that clearly to the mind my question would be, is this a bit of marry in haste repent at leisure? Hope not. Was there nobody within the Edinburgh or SRU system able to see Edinburgh through to the end of the season?
    Just consider what aspects will he take over if Blair remains as attack coach, that couldn’t be handled by, as I suggested someone in the system.
    As ever without stating the obvious, fingers are firmly crossed.

    • Diamond was one of those hoping to get Worcester back on its feet, but his bid was unsuccessful. He has a lot of experience to offer and Blair was floundering, by his own admission, so let’s hope this picks up Edinburgh and offers Blair an opportunity to learn more about the role too.

      As you say, fingers crossed, it would be great to have both Edinburgh and Glasgow thriving simultaneously.

    • Edinburgh only have potentially 4 games left – 3 URC and Leicester in Europe. Unless we progress in either competition.

      Its barely enough time for Steve to get to know the players never mind make his mark on the style of play. So I’ve no idea how you assess his performance in that time. You’ve got to assume it will be extended beyond the end of the season.

  6. I’m in the really not sure camp on this one, but Blair did want to step down immediately, so never a lot of choice in those circumstances. But it does appear that it may only be to the end of the season at the moment anyway, which lets Blair stay as attack coach till they find someone else? Dare I suggest that is a better temp solution than a Danny Wilson type SRU response?

  7. Well he’s certainly divided opinion on this site – he either a brilliant signing or useless. I’m in the unsure camp – time will tell.

  8. Quality signing by Mr.Dodson (long may he reign), proactive in recruitment and Stevie will sort out the nonsense we call defence.

  9. Oh no, the most divisive and one of the most unsuccessful coaches in English Rugby please tell me this is not true…
    Maybe like Franco he will prove me wrong but I doubt it………..

  10. A sound appointment. Bags of experience, has his teams playing decent rugby and he’ll toughen up an Edinburgh side that have lost hard edge of late. Well done to Mr Dodson who has pulled off a very shrewd appointment

  11. Diamond has a proven track record of success. Sale were always competitive on a limited budget. Not got a problem with him. Other than I hope he tones down his post match remarks about referees. Straight out of the Rassie Erasmus school.

    • Sale were not on a limited budget. Bankrolled big time hence all the Bok signings (remember them fielding a team full of EQ academy players v Glasgow to get their EQ quota up.
      And a far better side, same players, under Sanderson than Dimes

      • That’s a harsh, Sale are reaping the benefits of the work done by Diamond with both local players coming through and some very shrewd recruitment. Apart from Lood in his last year he brought in players with great potential. Faf wasn’t the household name he is now, Johno Ross was unknown and they way the du Preez have kicked. Great appointment just worry his recruitment may hamper development of Scottish qualified players

  12. Another terrible appointment from TCD. Is he just giving an old Manc pal a gig?

    It seems, if you’re a failure in English Rugby, TCD will give you a gig in Scotland.


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