GREGOR Townsend has drafted Glasgow assistant Pete Horne and experienced New Zealander Brad Mooar into his coaching team for the Six Nations. Both will initially be involved only in the short term – with Horne also retaining his post with the Warriors – but if things go well it is possible that at least one will stay on board for the Rugby World Cup this year.

Horne, 33, who played for Townsend at Glasgow and won 45 Scotland caps, started work with the national squad yesterday. His Warriors commitments mean he is only sure to continue his new duties for the first two rounds of the Six Nations, but he is highly thought of within Scottish Rugby and appears to have embarked on a similar career trajectory to Edinburgh coach Mike Blair.

Mooar, 48, has been assistant coach of the All Blacks as well as head coach of Welsh side Scarlets. He will be with Townsend’s team throughout the Championship, with a focus on attack – a position in the set-up that fell vacant when AB Zondagh left two weeks ago.

“Pete has done really well with Glasgow, and he is still with Glasgow,” Townsend said. “I don’t know how long Pete will be with us because they have to go to South Africa when we play France, but he will be around for the first two weeks.

“Pete has done a great job in the contact area with Glasgow. It was one area where we felt the backs had to improve from the autumn. That will be Pete’s specific focus as well as working with the players on skills and adding to our group.

“Brad is coming in for the whole Championship in a consultancy role. Brad will have more of a general focus – the bigger picture of attack with the backs and with counter-attack. We are banking on his experience and knowledge to add to our group.”

Townsend had been taking care of the attack since Zondagh left, and said he had enjoyed returning to a more hands-on role. He said, however, that he had too much on his plate as head coach to continue for the longer term as the attack coach.

“In an ideal world you would be able to do the coaching and all the other stuff, but life is not like that. I have missed the coaching, by doing more coaching I can have more influence on what the backs are doing and can build closer relations with the backs if I’m there more often. But I don’t think that’s workable or achievable for a longer period, because there are so many things that a head coach has to do.

“The more knowledge you have in the room the better you will be. I’m a big believer in that. Getting people who have had head coach experience is a good thing.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh head coach Blair will make a late call on whether to select winger Duhan van der Merwe and flanker Hamish Watson for Saturday’s URC clash against the Sharks at the DAM Health Stadium.

Both players are in need of game time ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations opener against England the following Saturday: Van der Merwe has been out of action since the end of December with an

ankle injury, and Watson has not played since November due to concussion.

“They’ve got training today and tomorrow with Scotland, so we’ll see how they get through that,” said Blair yesterday. “We’re going to delay naming our team until we find out how they are.

“Duhan has also been away in South Africa getting married, so he had training to do when he was over there, but his session today with Scotland will have been his first rugby work for a couple of weeks.

“It is a bit of a balance for us deciding whether to bring them in at all, or whether to have them on the bench, or whether to have them start. There are a number of different things we have to look at.

“I think they’ll both be involved with us. We just have to work out in what capacity.”