Ben Cairns and Duncan Hodge selected for Macphail Scholarship

Currie coach Ben Cairns

Currie coach Ben Cairns

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Capital-based rugby coaches Ben Cairns and Duncan Hodge have landed an opportunity to spend three weeks in New Zealand courtesy of the prestigious John Macphail Coaching Scholarship.

Cairns, who has just completed his first season as Currie head coach, and Hodge, a Scotland assistant coach, will travel to Christchurch this weekend.

Former international centre Cairns has made impressive progress since taking over at the Malleny Park and steered the club to the BT Premiership play-offs in his first season at the helm. He is relishing the prospect of spending time at the renowned Canterbury High Performance Unit.

“I’m very excited to be given this opportunity. Since retiring from playing I have immersed myself in coaching,” he said. “The Scholarship will accelerate my coaching knowledge. I have never had the chance to go to New Zealand, and for me there is no better place in the world to further my learning.”

Of the opportunity presented by the trip, Hodge said: “The main things for me are to see how they develop players and grow individual skill sets, in the context of their attack and defence systems, and how those differ to us.”

The scholarship was established in memory of former Scotland hooker John Macphail, who died in 2004.

Meanwhile, Bruce Aitchison and Ben Fisher, members of the coaching team that led Boroughmuir to BT Cup success, and Edinburgh Rugby Academy coach Bryan Easson, are among six men selected to attend a three day Six Nations coaching conference in Italy next month.