Philip Doyle has been backed to do a good job as the new Scotland Women’s Head Coach.
Doyle met up with his squad for the first time at the weekend and arrives with a wealth of international experience in the women’s game developed over two spells with the Irish team which saw a Grand Slam achieved and qualification to the 2014 Rugby World Cup.
He first coached the Ireland Women’s National team in 2003 for three years and he returned as Head Coach in 2010 and led the team to its first Six Nations title, achieving a Grand Slam and Triple Crown in the process, in 2013.
Doyle also created history when Ireland defeated the NZ Black Ferns in the pool stages of the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup, becoming the first Irish international side to beat a New Zealand national team. They reached the semi-finals before finishing in fourth place.
Since stepping down from the Ireland coaching team in 2014, Doyle has continued to be active in coaching and has had roles at Ulster Women’s Rugby and Blackrock College RFC.
And the player who captained his Grand Slam winning side in 2013 – Fiona Coghlan – believes he can help the Scottish game thrive after a tough Six Nations.
“I think it is a good appointment for Scotland, he has great coaching experience, particularly in the women’s game,” Coghlan said.
“He helped Irish rugby develop and you would like to think he could do a similar job with Ireland.
“He was involved with coaching us inn the early part of his coaching career and then he went away and worked in the men’s game and really evolved as a coach.
“When he came back into the international set-up he was a better coach and what he is very big on is setting standards and getting the culture right within the group that he is working with.
“That is both on the pitch and off the pitch, going from things such as timekeeping to the way you carry yourselves when representing your country and I think that discipline can really help a group of players get the best out of themselves and create a positive culture.
“We went on quite a journey to win the 2013 Grand Slam and Philip is very aware of his strengths and weaknesses as a coach and he is good at bringing in specialist coaches to help him out.
“Scotland will have been disappointed with their performances in the most recent Six Nations, they didn’t seem to quite click, and the new Head Coach will want to help the group of players find their spark again quickly.
“There is no doubt that he will put the hard work in and is not scared of telling players how it is when things need to be said and it will be interesting to see how he does in this new role leading up to the 2021 Rugby World Cup.”
What they said…
Gemma Fay, Head of Women and Girls Rugby at Scottish Rugby: “I am delighted we have been able to secure a coach who has the experience and proven record of success in the women’s international game that Philip has.
“We are at an important moment in the Scotland Women squad development cycle as we prepare for the World Cup qualification process and I believe that Philip has the right experience to be able to take us through this period and compete for a place in the tournament.”
Doyle: “I am very excited to take on this appointment and look forward to getting stuck in and getting to know the Scottish players.
“We don’t have long in real terms until the World Cup Qualification process begins but I am confident that with some hard work we will have sufficient time to develop further in working towards this objective.”
Technical Director at Scottish Rugby Stephen Gemmell: “Given where we are in the performance calendar it was important this group of players could be led and developed by a coach with international experience ahead of the qualification phase of the Rugby World Cup.
“We wanted someone with a proven track record at this level and Philip’s achievements made him the outstanding candidate.”
Doyle’s contract initially runs until the end of the qualification period for the 2021 Rugby World Cup when both parties will have an opportunity to review the role going forward.
Thanks to Inpho Photography for the main image of Philip Doyle
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