Glasgow Warriors Assistant Coach Kenny Murray is very excited about the upcoming arrival of new Head Coach Dave Rennie.
The Warriors are back into the first phase of pre-season ahead of 2017/18 with Murray overseeing things along with Jonathan Humphreys and Jason O’Halloran.
Rennie will join the club once his upper Rugby commitments are over – and Murray believes the new man will be a good fit at Scotstoun.
“It’s very exciting. Obviously it is a transitional period because Dave isn’t here yet, he’s finishing off at the Chiefs. They are in the Super Rugby play-offs and it depends how they do but it will probably be early to mid-August when he arrives,” he said.
“There has been a lot of communication. We’ve been doing weekly conference calls and there has been a lot of email traffic. He’s really on line with what we’re doing pre-season and taking leadership.
“We started back two and a half weeks ago, we’ll go on until Friday and then take two weeks off, then back in for block two. We’ve been doing that the past two or three years, it brings our international guys back for block two.”
Meanwhile, Murray has been delighted to see Alex Dunbar starring for Scotland in recent weeks and believes he can be a big player for club and country in 2017/18.
He explained: “It’s great for Alex to have had a length of time playing rugby without injuries. He’s an important player for us and Scotland.
“Obviously Gregor [Townsend] had planned what players he wanted to use at what times on this tour. That’s one of his strengths – player management. He’s got a real good feel for how players are feeling and what rest they need. It will be good for Alex in the long run coming back fresh and missing the Fiji match.
“It was a great weekend for Scottish rugby with the senior team and the under-20s both getting great wins. I really enjoyed watching that Scotland Test in Sydney, you could see Gregor’s traits all over the attack in terms of pace and tempo and accuracy.
“But I also thought one of the key things was the defence and Matt Taylor has got to take a lot of credit for what happened in the game. In the last 20 minutes we defended our line heroically, with real vigour and aggression and they couldn’t break us down. That would have meant a lot to Matt obviously because he’s from Australia. I think now everyone is looking forward to the Autumn Tests and getting a crack at the All Blacks.”
And Murray feels Finn Russell can thrive in the British & Irish Lions environment.
“Obviously Biggar is starting at 10 today [Tuesdsay], but you’d like to think Finn will get a shot. He’s such a relaxed and confident player, it doesn’t matter what environment he goes into he will always perform. I just hopes he gets an opportunity to play a bit.
“In his position you need to have leadership as he is controlling the game but what I liked about him in the Australia game was the maturity he showed. Some of his kicks turned them back into corners, some of his decision making at the right times were good.
“That’s what Finn’s like, he’s got a good knowledge of the game and, more importantly, the ability to see what needs to be done at certain times. He’s a quality player.”
Kenny Murray was speaking after being part of the first group of Scottish coaches to have completed the UKCC Level 4 coaching certificate, which aims to increase the standard of Scotland’s performance coaches.
The United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 4 was introduced for the first time in Scotland in 2015, and delivered in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University and sportscotland.
The two year qualification is designed to develop visionary, outstanding and knowledgeable decision makers, who can advance their own, and others, learning and impact on performance.
This year’s graduates include six coaches from professional, BT Premiership and national age grade sides, as Scottish Rugby continues to develop its best home grown coaches.
Kenny Murray is pictured by Scottish Rugby/SNS
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