Scot­land coach steps down over Covid-19 risk

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Rugby Union - By Fiona Tomas

Philip Doyle has stood down as Scot­land women’s head coach as he con­tin­ues to shield from coro­n­avirus on med­i­cal grounds.

The 55-year-old Ir­ish­man’s con­tract was due to end in De­cem­ber, but he has de­cided to leave early fol­low­ing a pe­riod of fur­lough leave, with as­sis­tant Bryan Eas­son tak­ing over as in­terim head coach for the re­main­der of 2020.

It is an­other blow for Scot­land’s women, who ful­filled just two matches of their Six Na­tions cam­paign this year be­fore the tour­na­ment was halted due to Covid-19.

Rugby Europe an­nounced yes­ter­day that Scot­land’s de­layed Six Na­tions fix­ture against Italy – due to take place on Dec 5 – will dou­ble up as the first leg of their Euro­pean qual­i­fier for next year’s World Cup. The Scots are also due to play Ire­land in the qual­i­fiers.

Doyle, who took charge of Scot­land in April 2019 be­fore over­see­ing a his­toric au­tumn se­ries in South Africa – the first on Spring­boks soil for six years and Scot­land’s first in the south­ern hemi­sphere – said it was “frus­trat­ing” not to con­tinue, but “the right thing to do” for the team.

Gemma Fay, Scot­tish Rugby’s head of women and girls’ rugby, said: “It is ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing he is un­able to con­tinue his role, but the Covid-19 cri­sis has put many things in per­spec­tive and clearly Philip’s health must be the pri­or­ity.”

Scot­land are due to re­sume their Six Na­tions cam­paign on Oct 24 against France.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.