John Dalziel joins London Scottish as Forwards Coach. Photo Courtesy/Ultimate Rguby

Scotland unveil forward’s coach as Pieter de Villiers takes full-time role


Scotland have announced John Dalziel will join Gregor Townsend’s backroom staff as Forwards Coach following a successful stint in a similar role at Glasgow Warriors.

Dalziel departs Scotstoun after a season with the Warriors having previously enjoyed two years as Head Coach of the Scotland 7s national team and will oversee the contact area alongside the forwards coaching role.

As a player, Dalziel represented Gala, London Scottish, Border Reivers and Melrose, before moving into coaching, where he enjoyed great success with the latter.

He then took up the reins as Head Coach of Scotland U20, leading them to a best-ever finish of fifth at the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia with a side containing current full internationals Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn and Matt Fagerson.

On his appointment, Dalziel said: “It’s an honour to be asked to join the Scotland coaching team under Gregor. I hope to add value to what is already an experienced coaching group and I am looking forward to working with such an exciting and talented squad of players, many of whom I have worked with during my time with the U20, 7s and Glasgow Warriors set-ups. I hope to be able to contribute to any future success we have.”

“I’m delighted to welcome John into the national team coaching group. He has been impressive in every coaching challenge he’s had since retiring from playing, most recently with Glasgow Warriors.”Head Coach Gregor Townsend

“He already understands the nature of international rugby through his head coach roles with Scotland 7s and U20s and has worked closely with a number of our current Scotland players, which will be an important factor in preparing the forwards for Test match rugby within a short timeframe.

“We have an intense block of international rugby coming up later this year, which will enable John and the rest of our coaching group to connect with our players as we continue to work hard and develop.”

Former Scotland international Kelly Brown will join Glasgow Warriors as Forwards Coach with immediate effect from Saracens where he has been working with the Saracens Academy since retiring from playing in 2017.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “I am delighted we can continue the progression of two talented Scottish coaches through our coaching pathway.

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“John has impressed with each role he has taken on with the U20s, Scotland 7s, Glasgow Warriors and now he has an opportunity to add his expertise into the national team coaching group, led by Gregor Townsend.

“This has enabled us to bring Kelly Brown back to Scotland to work with Danny Wilson at Glasgow Warriors and again deepen the pool of Scottish coaches working at the top levels of the game.

“I know both John and Kelly will be great additions to our wider coaching group and we wish them well in their respective new roles.”

While John Dalziel has already started working with Scotland he will spend the next month with Glasgow Warriors before linking up with the national team in early September ahead of the autumn international window.

In addition, scrummaging coach Pieter de Villiers has joined the Scotland coaching group on a full-time basis having impressed in a consultancy role during the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.

Dalziel and de Villers join Mike Blair (Assistant Coach, Attack) and Steve Tandy (Assistant Coach, Defence) as members of Townsend’s international coaching structure.

On de Villiers’ stay, Townsend said: “Pieter made a real impact when he joined our coaching group for the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and so it’s great news that he is now joining us on a full-time basis. He quickly built a rapport with our staff and players, immersing himself in our environment.

“He is passionate about the scrum and developing players to succeed in this important sector of the game, and his valuable contributions were evident in the matches we played. There is much more to come from our forward pack, so we look forward to working with Pieter in his drive make further progress.”

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