Mike Blair to step down as head coach of Edinburgh Rugby

Mike Blair will step down from his role as head coach of Edinburgh at the end of the season. Picture: SNSMike Blair will step down from his role as head coach of Edinburgh at the end of the season. Picture: SNS
Mike Blair will step down from his role as head coach of Edinburgh at the end of the season. Picture: SNS
Mike Blair will quit as head coach of Edinburgh Rugby at the end of the season, it has been announced.

The 41-year-old is stepping down as he feels he’s being stretched too thinly in his current role as he seeks employment which will allow him to develop further as a coach.

The former scrum-half, who spent ten years playing for his hometown club, took over the reins prior to the start of the 2021/22 season.

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He will not renew his contract at the end of the current campaign with Edinburgh and Scottish Rugby beginning the search for a replacement.

Blair said: “My greatest passion is coaching, to allow [players] to get the most out of themselves. As a head coach it is very difficult to do this justice because of everything else that comes with the role. For my next role I want to put my energy and knowledge into being a world class attack coach.

“My time as head coach has been a brilliant experience, working with outstanding players, coaches, and management. It is also an all-consuming job, which I have given everything to since being appointed and I’ve learnt a lot about myself and the game during this period. This will be invaluable going forward as I look to continue my development, whilst not ruling out a return to a head coach role in the future.

Edinburgh Rugby and Scottish Rugby have been incredibly supportive and patient with me while I came to this decision. It has been humbling to lead my home club, so it was an incredibly difficult decision to make.

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“I know this decision may come as surprise to some, but I truly believe focusing on my passion will allow me to get the best out of myself and players I coach.”

Douglas Struth, Edinburgh Rugby managing director, said: “I’d like to thank Mike for his contribution to Edinburgh Rugby. He’s a club legend and has played a big part in creating many memorable moments for the club, with a lot still to play for in the current campaign.

“I’d also like to commend him for what is a proactive, positive, and brave decision, which is in keeping with how he has operated in the past season and a half with the club. During this time we have made notable progress under his leadership – driving standards and our style of play in our new home.”

Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby CEO, said: “I’d like to extend my thanks to Mike for the superb job he has done at Edinburgh Rugby.

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“I know this wasn’t an easy decision for him to not continue but it is one I fully respect and support as the best thing for Mike as a coach and individual.

“He deserves credit for both the progress and achievements the club have made in the past two seasons and for his own personal contribution to that.

“Mike will still be in post for the rest of this season, and I know the team and coaching group still have a lot to play for and will want to end this campaign on a high.

“We are in discussions with Edinburgh and Douglas Struth to find a new head coach for the club, who will update the fans further once this is completed.”

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