Phil Godman eager to kick on with coaching job

Phil Godman played 150 games for Edinburgh
Phil Godman played 150 games for Edinburgh
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Former Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland stand-off Phil Godman cannot wait to get started in his new role at the High School of Dundee after he retired from professional rugby earlier this month.

Godman, who turned 33 last week, decided to call it a day on the field after the end of the Aviva Premiership campaign with Newcastle Falcons.

Over the last two seasons with the Falcons the former Merchiston Castle pupil has been getting as much coaching experience as he can under his belt at schools in and around Newcastle.

And now he is set to take up the post of head of rugby and elite sports development at the High School of Dundee in June.

Looking back on his rugby career Godman who played 150 games for Edinburgh and earned 23 Scotland caps, said: “I have loved every moment of it.

“When you are young you maybe don’t realise how lucky you are to be playing sport for a living, but as you get older and injuries and things creep in you learn to make the most of every moment.

“I have been lucky to play in some good teams over the years and with some cracking players. Highlights include winning my first Scotland cap and getting the chance to play for really good clubs in the shape of Edinburgh, London Scottish and Newcastle.

“I have always enjoyed being a stand-off because you are in a crucial position in the team and you get to make quite a few decisions. That can bring its own pressures, but when you have good forwards in front of you and exciting backs outside you then it makes your job easier.

“As a stand-off I guess the guys you remember playing with the most are the scrum-halves because you practice with them day in and day out and you build up a good connection. Thankfully I was lucky enough to work with number nines such as Mike Blair, Rory Lawson and Chris Cusiter.”

Having excelled at schoolboy level and progressed through the Scotland age-grade teams, in 2002 Godman was given the opportunity to head to Newcastle Falcons.

After two seasons there he returned north and joined Edinburgh where he went on to spend eight seasons.

He was handed his full Scotland debut off the bench against Romania in 2005 and the performance of his that most people remember was when he was named man of the match in the victory over Australia in 2009.

“That was a great day, but any time playing for your country is special. The build-up, the national anthem, the match, the friends you make - you remember it all,” Godman said.

In 2010 Godman suffered a bad knee injury and never played for Scotland again, but went on to finish his Edinburgh career well and then spent a year at London Scottish and two at the Falcons.

He explained: “I was really pleased with the way I managed to come back from that injury and keep playing at the top level because I have seen a number of team mates have to stop early through injury.

“Over the last couple of years my mind has started to drift to what to do after playing and getting involved in coaching and working with young people seemed the logical choice because I still love the sport.

“I have learnt a lot about coaching being involved in the local area near Newcastle and when the chance came to get involved at Dundee I jumped at it.

“The school is very ambitious and the sports department there is full with good teachers and coaches and hopefully I can add to that. I am excited about the opportunity.”

Godman will lead the development of rugby from Primary Five upwards at the school, will be involved in the creation of an integrated elite performance programme and will also get involved in coaching other sports.