Coaching reshuffle for Scotland and Glasgow with the return of the Pro14 less than three weeks away

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Richard Bath
·3 min read
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Kelly Brown of Scotland looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on February 2, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. - GETTY IMAGES
Kelly Brown of Scotland looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on February 2, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. - GETTY IMAGES

Less than three weeks before the Pro14 season restarts for Edinburgh and Glasgow with two 1872 derbies in as many weeks, there have been a raft of major changes of coaching personnel for the Warriors and Scotland. Glasgow forwards coach John Dalziel has left Scotstoun to join Scotland, where he will join and scrummaging coach Petrus du Plessis, who is now working with Scotland full-time. Heading to Glasgow is former Scotland captain Kelly Brown, who has joined Glasgow a decade after leaving the club for Saracens.

Brown joins the Warriors as an assistant coach with responsibility for the forwards and the breakdown, following ten years at Saracens, where he won Premiership and two Heineken Cup titles. The 38-year-old former flanker, who has been coaching at the Saracens Academy, will work alongside head coach Danny Wilson and Dalziel before fellow Borderer Dalziel leaves for Murrayfield at the end of the month.

Brown, who has also worked as a defence coach with Canada’s senior team, knows many of the Glasgow players after two stints working under Gregor Townsend with the Scotland squad, including in the run-up to the 2019 World Cup. The opportunity to work with them at Scotstoun was, he says, an opportunity he could not turn down.

“I’ve had a fantastic 10 years at Saracens but this role ticked so many boxes,” said Brown. “It’s a club I’ve got a lot of love for, so to take up a senior role like this with Glasgow was too good to turn down.

“There’s a good mix of senior players and younger guys, which is really exciting. I’ve coached a number of the boys with Scotland over the last few years, so I know there are some really talented players in the mix. I also know what makes a really successful environment from my time at Saracens, and I’m excited to see where we can go as a club.”

Glasgow flanker Chris Fusaro lauded the signing of Brown, but also said that the Warriors would miss the organisational skills of Dalziel.

“I trained with Kelly when I was still in the academy but based in Glasgow, and he was great with all the young guys, always very easy to get along with and a bit of a mentor,” said the 31-year-old. “I was also in a couple of Scotland squads with him earlier on in my career around 2013-14. I didn’t play with him at that level, but all my experiences of him have been really positive.

“Under John [Dalziel] we’ve had the best line-out in Europe this season, so he’s obviously a great line-out coach. I remember playing against JD when I was 18 and fresh out of school, he was playing for Melrose and jumping on my head at every opportunity, so I learnt a lot from him that day. He’s very innovative and he’s been great for our line-out in defence and attack so hopefully he can take that on to the Scotland job.”