Edinburgh appoint Mike Blair as head coach

Edinburgh appoint Mike Blair as head coach
The former scrum-half played for Edinburgh from 2002-2012.

Scotland assistant coach Mike Blair has been appointed as Edinburgh Rugby’s new head coach.

The former Edinburgh and Scotland captain returns from a five-year term with the national team, where he was recruited by head coach Gregor Townsend to occupy a dual role with Glasgow Warriors in 2017.

Blair, who takes over from recently departed Richard Cockerill told edinburghrugby.org: “The first emotion is one of pride.

“I’ve lived in Edinburgh most of my life, played 11 seasons at the club and still live in the city, so having that attachment combine with the opportunity to lead the squad is really special for me.

“I’ve learned a lot from working with quality coaches like Dave Rennie, Jason O’Halloran and Gregor Townsend, in particular and over the years, and have been able to develop and adapt a philosophy that I feel should benefit the talent we have at the club.

“It’s a really exciting squad. There’s a good balance of experience and backgrounds and I’m looking forward to getting to know the players and their strengths better so we can mould that into making Edinburgh both good to watch and successful.

“It’s also a really good time to come in with all the excitement around the launch of the new stadium this summer.

It’s a massive, watershed moment for the club. We all want to get that packed out with supporters from the outset and build an atmosphere the players deserve and the fans can be proud of.”

I’m looking forward to getting to know the players and their strengths better so we can mould that into making Edinburgh both good to watch and successful

Mike Blair

Blair’s talents were recognised recently with his appointment as interim Scotland head coach,  only for the matches to be abandoned as coronavirus affected the camp and that of their opponents.

Edinburgh Rugby managing director Douglas Struth said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mike back to the club as our head coach, having watched his development into a first-rate coach over the past six years.

“Not only does he bring that expertise, but Mike is also a local man, a club centurion, and somebody who became a home-grown legend in an Edinburgh Rugby jersey.

“That’s really important to us and is a fantastic illustration of our ambition to promote and develop local stars of the future.

“It’s a new era for the club, with a new stadium and new tournament formats, and we believe Mike is the right man to continue the development of our tactical approach and winning mentality on the field, and our culture and connection to the wider rugby community off it.”

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