Scotland will benefit from Bradley’s vision

Guinness PRO12 Editor

4 May 2011


Scotland head coach Andy Robinson believes the appointment of Edinburgh’s new head coach will have a positive effect on the national side.

The capital city outfit announced that former Connacht boss Michael Bradley will take charge on a two-year deal.

And Robinson, who is preparing to lead his side into this autumn’ World Cup, insists that he and Bradley share a similar vision of how to take professional rugby forward in Scotland.

"Michael and I have talked at length about the game, the development of rugby and how we move forward, and I think the partnership's going to be very strong between us," said Robinson, who himself coached Edinburgh before taking on the national job.

"This is a great appointment for Edinburgh and Scottish Rugby. I am certain Michael will bring great drive and determination to the role of head coach of Edinburgh.

"Michael is his own man. He has to create an identity for Edinburgh and he has a clear vision of moving the club forward.

"We have to accept where Edinburgh is: it's a really good squad full of international players and we wanted that vision, how to create a very good team spirit within the squad and create an identity and Michael was very clear on how he would achieve that."

Bradley, who spent seven years with Connacht and has recently been working with the Georgian national side, is thought to have beaten off stiff competition from ex-Ireland boss Eddie O’Sullivan and former Munster supremo Alan Gaffney to take the reigns at Edinburgh.

The 48-year-old’s appointment follows interim head coach Nick Scrivener’s decision to return to Australia, half a season after stepping into the vacancy left by Rob Moffat’s departure.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for me to work with a group of players at least half of whom are full internationals in an arena such as this and to challenge the players, management and myself to produce excellent performances," added Bradley, who will have free reign to bring in his own support staff after Friday’s final Magners League game against Treviso.

"I think the critical element… is to develop the entity that is Edinburgh rugby and that will promote Scottish rugby.

"Andy's a world-class coach so that door is always open, and he's the kind of guy who will encourage that.

"We will do things in Edinburgh slightly differently, because we will have a different coaching set-up and the challenges of whom we are playing are different, but the fundamentals will be the same."

Bradley is also keen to ensure more and more supporters flood through the turnstiles for Edinburgh games during his time in charge.

The ex-Ireland A scrum-half knows that building a winning team will spread the Edinburgh message to a wider audience.

And in return, Bradley is hoping the noise levels at Murrayfield for Edinburgh home games will reach another level.

"It's really important that there's a strong connection between the fans and the team, and it's something we've got to work hard at, making everyone proud of the jersey," continued Bradley.

"That's my job and I'll work as hard as I can to produce that for the fans. What the fans have to understand we need volume (of noise) out on the pitch and volume in numbers.

"I was fortunate to be here at the international against Australia 15 months ago and the atmosphere in the last 15 minutes of that match was the greatest I've ever encountered — so we know the stadium can produce that.

"Edinburgh's a city of nearly half a million people, and once we build and invest in an identity for the club, the crowd will gather momentum and the rest will follow."