Richie puts case for defence

Richie Gray.
Richie Gray.

Scotland’s head hoach Vern Cotter has appointed defensive contact specialist, Richie Gray, on a consultancy basis for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Gray, from Galashiels, joins the Scotland set-up following a three-season spell as South Africa’s specialist breakdown coach - culminating in their bronze medal finish at Rugby World Cup 2015 - as well as the ‘Blitzbokke’ 7s side.

The move signals a return for the former Scotland age-grade internationalist, a Scottish Rugby employee from 1994 and 2006, when he worked as a development manager, academy manager and coach to various Scotland age-grade sides, the South of Scotland, Gala and Biggar RFC.

The award-winning inventor of the Collision King technical training range, said: “It’s a great honour to coach any country but to be offered the opportunity to coach your own is something special indeed.

“The defensive breakdown is an area highlighted by the coaches as an area for improvement, for which I’ve been given a very specific brief to work alongside defence coach Matt Taylor for the seven-week period of the RBS 6 Nations.

“It’s a great honour and I’m looking forward to joining up with the Scotland squad in camp at St Andrews this Sunday.”

Head coach, Cotter, said: “On behalf of the national team I’d like to welcome Richie [Gray] to our coaching set-up for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations.

“We’re looking forward to adding his experience and passion to the group.”

In 2013 the Boks took on Gray as their breakdown and defence coach in yet a further testimony to the ground breaking work the Borders man has been doing throughout the arena of rugby skills training.