EDINBURGH Rugby coach Michael Bradley has admitted it would be an “honour and a privilege” to fill a vacancy with Scotland.
But, at the same time, the 50-year-old former Ireland scrum half who has coached his native country and also Georgia says he is both open-minded about any step up and committed to improving Edinburgh’s currently fluctuating fortunes.
“It would be an honour and a privilege to coach Scotland. There is no question about that,” said Bradley before flying out to Galway for tonight’s Rabo Direct Pro 12 meeting with a Connacht side which helped launch his professional coaching career.
Andy Robinson exited after three years in charge and if Bradley were called upon then it would be mean the Scotland job being filled by Edinburgh’s mentor in each of the last three occasions it has been up for grabs.
So, there does appear to be a logical progression and Bradley acknowledged: “I have coached Ireland through tours of New Zealand and Australia and I coached Georgia through seven or eight internationals.
“I really enjoyed that but I am also enjoying the challenge of bringing together and developing Edinburgh Rugby as a club.”
Perhaps drawing on his previous Test experience Bradley further showed himself to be well versed, remarking: “International rugby itself is very difficult. It is as big a mental exercise as it is physical and the boys have to cope with that.”
Referring to the previous incumbent of the Scotland hot seat, Bradley maintained it would be a hard act to follow for whoever gets the job while name-checking Scott Johnson, the Australian-born No.2 to Robinson.
“I thought Andy did a fantastic job in terms of the standards he was looking to set with the lads and pushing them,” Bradley said.
“We work very closely with Andy’s team and if Scott takes over we will work with Scott and the rest of that team. If Scotland go well then Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors go well; it’s important we all go in the same direction.”
There was equal candour from Bradley about the need to keep moving Edinburgh forward as they seek to build on last week’s 23-13 win over Ospreys that ended a run of seven straight losses in all competitions.
“My job is with Edinburgh Rugby in the forseeable future and I don’t see it (the Scotland job) as an option in the immediate future.
“We are going through a tough time. We have stuck together. We have a lot of new players who are bedding in and really we don’t need a distraction by talking about other things as well.
“Developing a run of wins in every competitive match and winning close ones, that is the next stage.
“The guys who are coming in now are finding their feet. For example WP (Nel) had a smashing game last weekend and grabbed another try.
“Isaak van der Westhuizen is playing very well and Perry Parker had an outstanding performance last time while Richie Rees is bedding down and benfitting from Chris Leck’s challenge at scrum half.
“All these are good indicators for us. If we can keep that sort of momentum up we will get better and better.”