SCOTTISH Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson has conceded that Glasgow Warriors have entered the market for a new head coach at the wrong point in the World Cup cycle, but he insisted that it is an attractive enough opportunity to be of interest to some of the best rugby brains in the global game. 

Dodson acted decisively to relieve Danny Wilson of his duties on Monday afternoon, just two days after Warriors’ humiliating 76-14 hammering by Leinster ended a disappointing 2021-22 season, and he knows he needs to move quickly again to ward off fan unrest – with rising season ticket prices and plummeting performance levels a cause of deep frustration in recent weeks. 

“There will be more slack in the market if you look next year but this is a great job,” acknowledged Dodson. “It is a job that will attract some of the best talent around and I expect us to be able to tap into a market that is full of good candidates. We always have people in mind, all the time.  

“We have signed well for next season, we have done a good piece of recruitment there, so whoever comes in and takes over will have a strong squad of international players to pick from,” he added, before promising that more cash will be made available to whoever is appointed should the right recruitment targets be identified. 

“We are always in the market for good players. If players come up that the new coach wants, or we feel is right thing from a collective point of view then we’ll be there.” 

For understandable reasons, Dodson refused to discuss specific names, although he did shoot down the possibility of Scotland forwards coach John Dalziel returning to Scotstoun this summer, where he was on the staff during the 2019-20 season. 

However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of another internal appointment, such as Glasgow assistant coach Nigel Carolan, on an interim basis for next season. 

“We have a World Cup coming up we are not in a position to say that we will break up that Scotland coaching team to replace Danny,” he said. “We will see what comes in, what the market looks like, and we will take it from there.” 

Meanwhile, Dodson issued a vote of confidence to Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, insisting that it is time to move on after a disappointing Six Nations in which Scotland managed just two wins to finish in the bottom half of the table for the fourth consecutive year. 

“The Six Nations started off well but that did not maintain through the tournament,” he added. “We have to put that behind us now and make sure the Argentina tour and November Tests are well prepared for and that is our next step. 

And he refused to be drawn into providing details on the mysterious case of the ‘Edinburgh six’ – who appear to have been disciplined after an illicit drinking session after the Italy game although no details have been released. 

“There were conversations that took place at the time between Gregor, the management group and the players generally and that is something that has been dealt with and we have moved on from it,” he said. 

Asked if all or any of the players involved – captain Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell, Ali Price, Darcy Graham, Sam Johnson and Sione Tuipulotu – might be left out of this summer’s four-match trip to South America, he replied: “That is for the national team and the national team coaches. I don't get involved in that. We will be talked to about it but that is their province.” 

The Six Nations wasn’t only disappointing for the senior men’s Scotland team, the women’s side and the men’s under-20s team were both whitewashed, while Wilson’s sacking highlights the issued at Glasgow, but Dodson is adamant that there is no need to press the panic button at this stage

“The game goes through peaks and troughs. It is a rollercoaster. I think what we have got to do is get more even performances across the piece,” he claimed. “From a women's perspective, we peaked for that World Cup qualification game [at the end of February] and coming off that the Six Nations was always going to be difficult for us. 

“If you look at the club game, we have had a real build from Edinburgh making the final eight of the URC and the final eight of the Challenge Cup as well.  

“So, in terms of one or two bad results and disappointments, there have been a lot of high spots as well. We have to take this in the round.  

“The one thing I would say is that the idea of peaking for the World Cup every four years, these days have gone. You have to be playing pretty well consistently all the time now. That is where we have to get our global consistency right.”