Steve Diamond is Edinburgh Rugby's new head coach, with new role for Mike Blair

Steve Diamond has been appointed head coach of Edinburgh Rugby with immediate effect and looks set to retain Mike Blair as his attack coach.
Steve Diamond is taking over as Edinburgh's head coach. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Steve Diamond is taking over as Edinburgh's head coach. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Steve Diamond is taking over as Edinburgh's head coach. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Diamond’s appointment is until the end of the season and is expected to be officially confirmed on Friday. He is likely to take charge for the first time for the game against Connacht in Galway on March 25. Blair announced two weeks ago his intention to step down as head coach at the end of the season, citing the “all consuming” nature of the job. He said he wanted to concentrate on becoming “a world class attack coach”.

Edinburgh have lost seven of their last eight matches in the United Rugby Championship and have moved quickly to appoint Diamond, the former Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors coach. The 54-year-old is well known to both Jim Mallinder, Scottish Rugby’s director of high performance, and Mark Dodson, the governing body’s chief executive, two of the key decision makers in the appointment process along with Douglas Struth, Edinburgh’s managing director.

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Edinburgh will take stock at the end of the season but this is an opportunity for Diamond to stake his claim to the role on a longer-term basis. Edinburgh have three games left in the URC regular campaign, with a home match against Ospreys and an away fixture at Ulster to follow after Connacht. Their chances of making the play-offs are slim – they are currently 12th, seven points adrift of eighth-placed Connacht. Edinburgh’s European form has been more impressive. They beat Castres (twice) and Saracens to reach the knockout stage of the Heineken Champions Cup and will face Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in the round of 16 on March 31.

Diamond has over 20 years of coaching experience at club and international level and worked with Mallinder at Sale Sharks, England Saxons and Northampton Saints. He was in charge of Saracens between 2003 and 2006 and also had a spell as director of rugby for the Russian national team, leading them to qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He returned to Sale that year where he remained until his departure in 2020 for family reasons. He became a consultant at Worcester Warriors in November 2021, and later took charge of the first team, but his contract was terminated along with every other employee following the club’s financial collapse last autumn. He will be well known to Edinburgh players Duhan van der Merwe and Murray McCallum who played under him at Sixways.

Edinburgh, meanwhile, have been linked with a move for Sale’s Scotland hooker Ewan Ashman.



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