Andy Nicol, the Glasgow captain, has urged the SRU to put a Scot in charge of the team rather than seek another foreign coach. He was speaking less than 24 hours after the New Zealand coach, Kiwi Searancke, was sacked by the club, and Nicol received immediate backing from former coach Richie Dixon, who will return in a caretaker capacity until the end of the season.

Nicol, who played a big part in running yesterday's coaching session at Scotstoun, said: ''Whatever Kiwi and his staff did or didn't do, it was nothing to do with their nationality but, after the season we have had, it would be good to have Scottish coaches, or at least people who have lived here for a number of years.'' This seemed a clear reference to Sean Lineen, favourite to succeed Steve Anderson as backs coach.

Dixon defended the SRU's decision to sidestep a home-grown appointment when Searancke was signed up a year ago. ''At that time there were few Scots coaches who were genuine candidates,'' he said. ''That situation has changed. Being in charge of a professional team is something you grow into. If a man is ready, he is ready, but if you push him in too early, you can ruin him.

''An extra year has given some guys the time needed to lift it that bit more. Whoever makes the appointments will have more options than a year ago in that respect.''

Dixon also aimed a thinly-veiled swipe at Searancke's alleged off-field failings. ''Rugby knowledge is not the only factor,'' he said. ''At the top level, 80% of the game involves leadership skills and the ability to manage your players properly. If a coach does not have that, he won't get the best from his players. Club coaches are only with their guys on a limited timescale but, in the pro game, when you have them all the time, you have to know how to treat them.''

Searancke's departure has left his coaching assistant, Gordon MacPherson, in limbo. Glasgow's chief executive, David Jordan, insists he is is still at the club although speculation was rife yesterday that McPherson has already departed, pending a severance agreement.

The club and the SRU, meanwhile, claim they have still to decide whether to have a coaching staff of two or three. No announcement has been made but it is expected that Lineen will take over as backs coach next season.

The most likely outcome will be a streamlining of the coaching set-up, reducing it to a two-man affair, possibly overseen by a more experienced manager. That would allow for Lineen to retain his Boroughmuir coaching partnership with Iain Paxton or, more likely, the introduction of Shade Munro, the Glasgow Hawks coach, into the professional ranks.

Jordan said the search for a forwards coach is not likely to go outwith Scotland, but could not confirm that an internal SRU appointment was likely. ''We are looking to employ somebody from within Scotland, but people have to want to do the job,'' he said.

The timing of Searancke's departure complicates matters. As head coach, he had identified the players he wished to retain and those that he had targeted to bring to the club.

Jordan insists that his departure will not change that, which means that such as Dan Parks, the former Australian under-21 internationalist who is Scottish qualified, is still likely to make the move from Sydney to Glasgow this summer. He gained experience of European competition with Leeds last season and had been targeted by Searancke as a young stand-off with huge potential.

Nicol, meanwhile, has rejected the notion that he would consider leap-frogging the club scene and moving into a coaching career at the professional deep end. The former Scotland captain, who retires as a player at the end of this month, said: ''Nothing has altered my view that, if I go into coaching, I will serve a stint at club level before thinking about moving up.''

He stressed his confidence that the behind-the-scenes ructions could have a positive effect on the team when they face Edinburgh in tomorrow night's Bank of Scotland Pro Cup encounter at Hughenden. ''History has examples of football teams raising their game when a manager leaves,'' said Nicol. ''The same can happen with us. There was a buzz among the players and the quality of the work was high.''

''If it does happen that way against Edinburgh, it won't be down to anything Richie or I have done. It will be achieved by the players. You sense they just want to right the wrongs which have happened. We have not under-performed. We have lost something from our game and the aim is to get it back this weekend.''

Nicol is out of the running for tomorrow's match, but he denied his playing days had come to a premature end. ''I intend to get some game-time before the end of the season. I'd hate this to be it.''