Kenny Murray, the coach of RBS Premiership challengers Ayr, has criticised the Scottish Rugby Union for showing a lack of respect to grass root club coaches.
Murray has recently steered the Millbrae side to success in the Premiership and the Scottish Cup and he also guided his charges to some significant victories in the British & Irish Cup competition. Yet, following the departure of Andy Robinson from the Scotland job, most of the talk about his replacement has centred around promoting foreign coaches, such as Scott Johnston and Nick Mallett, or giving elevation to Scotland's original "Kilted Kiwi", Sean Lineen.
"My view is they [the SRU] should appoint a Scottish coach, and Sean is the current front-runner for me, but the union need to develop a robust strategy to develop Scottish coaching talent, rather than just pay lip service," said Murray. "The SRU needs to show more respect to the club game coaches and value them, because, at the moment, Premier club coaches feel disillusioned and undervalued."
Loading article content
His words were echoed by another West-based coach, who requested anonymity but claimed the lack of a proper pathway for successful club coaches, such as Melrose's Craig Chalmers, Gala's George Graham and Murray at Ayr, was creating a rod for the union's back.
"They have dug themselves into a hole, and all they want to do is go scouring the southern hemisphere for new talent instead of encouraging their own guys," claimed the source.
"There are plenty of good Scottish coaches, but with the present Murrayfield structure, they've no chance of progressing to the national coaching job."
The majority of club coaches contacted by Herald Sport yesterday backed Lineen for the top job, albeit on an initial short-term basis through to the end of the 2013 Six Nations Championship.
"I would look at Sean as an experienced professional coach with excellent knowledge of the Scottish players and their pysche," said Alex Duncan, Aberdeen Grammar's coach. "I would leave Scott Johnston to develop the attack and promote Shade Munro to [the job of Scotland] forwards coach. This, in turn, would provide natural opportunities to develop Scottish coaches at under-20 level and at Glasgow."