Scottish Rugby will offer contract extension terms to both Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend and Edinburgh Rugby coach Richard Cockerill to keep them “within the family”, says chief executive Mark Dodson.
The pair are both out of contract in the summer of 2021, but Dodson wants to keep both within the Murrayfield gates.
“It’s our intention to keep them both inside the Scottish rugby family,” said the chief executive. “We’ll have the proper conversation at the appropriate time but they both know how much they are loved and we’ll tell everybody when we have to.”
Townsend strengthened his position after a poor World Cup with a stronger Six Nations, and with Dodson having personally appointed him in place of Vern Cotter in 2017, it wouldn’t take much for the chief executive to stick with his man.
Cockerill’s appointment has been a huge success with Edinburgh more competitive on the field and producing more candidates for the Scotland national team. However the Englishman’s success has not gone unnoticed, and he’s been quoted for lucrative posts in England and France on a regular basis.
“I speak to them both two or three times a week,” said Dodson. “There was a story about Richard going to Gloucester in the papers but you hear teams like Montpellier, Clermont, Lyon and Harlequins as well.
“We have coaches here that, whenever there is a vacancy, their names will be mentioned. But we’re keen to keep them to build on the success they’ve had.”
Edinburgh’s swiftness in completing their squad for next season compared to Glasgow – causing some considerable disquiet among Warriors fans – is simply down to the fact that Cockerill had been in situe longer than new Warriors coach Danny Wilson, said Dodson.
“Danny has taken over from Dave Rennie at Glasgow and wants to be involved with the new signings, and you’ll see some announcements soon,” added the chief executive. “Richard is in his third season and knows exactly what he wants to do, so any difference is simply an accident of timing.”
Edinburgh’s one problem has been the refusal of a work visa for stand-off Jono Lance, which means the deal for the Australian is now dead.
Lance explained on Twitter that a lack of games for Worcester Warriors due to a combination of Enqlish Qualified player quotas and the early end to the season due to the coronavirus lockdown meant he had not completed the requisite number to ensure his visa would be renewed.
Lance has returned to Australia and will play for the Western Force when Super Rugby restarts.