GLASGOW assistant coach Kelly Brown is confident that he can bring a lot of positive elements from his old club Saracens to his new post - above all, the emphasis on ensuring that players enjoy themselves on the field.

The English and European champions are about to be relegated from the Premiership because of a penalty imposed for breaching the league’s salary-cap regulations, so there are clearly aspects of Saracens’ business conduct that no-one would want to transfer to another club. But, having spent a decade with the club as a player then coach after leaving Glasgow, Brown is sure that many other things he has learned there can come in useful at Scotstoun. 

“In spite of everything that happened at Saracens over the past year - it’s been turbulent, which is maybe quite an understatement - but it’s a club that in my opinion does a lot of stuff right, and I want to bring a lot of the good bits up to Glasgow,” the former Scotland international said. “The thing that amazed me the most when I went to Saracens was we never spoke about winning. We said ‘Let’s go and make some memories’, and I thought that was a brilliant way to do it. 

“I know that ultimately professional sport is about winning, but I just thought as a way to take all the pressure off the players it was an amazing way to do it. That changed over the years as the club has had success, and they do speak about it a little bit more, but I thought it was a great way to do it. Let’s just focus on making unbelievable memories and if you do that you win games.

“Ultimately it’s all about caring for people. A lot of people had this ethos - and they still do - to keep people keen, treat them mean. At Sarries it was the exact opposite. That’s certainly how I like to operate, and it’s something I’ll definitely keep in the forefront of my mind at Glasgow.”

While Brown had always kept in close touch with Scottish rugby in general and his old club in particular, his return came out of the blue as a consequence of the coaching reshuffle at the national team and the Warriors. With forwards coach John Dalziel moving to join Gregor Townsend’s set-up at Murrayfield, new Glasgow coach Danny Wilson recognised that Brown would be a good fit, and invited him to join. 

“It was sudden,” explained Brown, who will focus on contact and lineout defence in his new role. “I’d been speaking to Danny, because I’d done a bit of stuff with Scotland over the past two or three years. 

“So I’d got to know him and we’d speak every now and again to discuss ideas around contact and that sort of stuff. Then we had a couple of calls over the lockdown period to discuss things we were looking at, at our different clubs. 

“And then I got a call from him and he said there was an opportunity and would I be keen? And it’s a club I know and love, and hard as it was to leave Saracens, I was very excited about the opportunity to come back to Scotland.” 

Now 38, Brown has always been known for his humility and down-to-earth approach. At Saracens he may have been part of an organisation that won three European crowns and five domestic titles in the past decade, but he is certainly not going to presume that such success makes him uniquely knowledgeable at Glasgow.  

“I think every culture is slightly different, and there’s no way I’m going to come up and say, ‘I’ve been at Saracens, I know all this stuff’,” he explained. “There are little bits and pieces I can definitely bring up. 

“In Glasgow, when I played there, and speaking to those who have been here in the last ten years, it’s a club with a great culture and a really good environment. I’m not coming in to try and change everything, but there are little bits of pieces that I do feel we can add and improve, because we are striving to get better. And if there’s something I can add to help us as a group, then I’ll do it.”