Scotland coach steps down over Covid-19 risk
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.