Lawson and Dods appointed as Specialist Skills Coaches
Scottish Rugby can today confirm the appointment of two specialist skills coaches to the high-performance department.
Scott Lawson has been appointed as the specialist skills coach in throwing whilst Craig Dods will provide specialist coaching in kicking. Both Lawson and Dods will start their new roles next month, reporting directly to Scottish Rugby’s Head of Player Transition, Kenny Murray.
These two new full-time roles have been created to ensure that Scotland’s national principles for both throwing and kicking are able to effectively be delivered to specific players including Scotland Women and Girls performance programs, Scotland’s representative age-grade sides, FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy players in their respective pro-team environments and those in the FOSROC Regional Academies.
In addition to delivering expert coaching in their respective areas they will lead on the creation, and support on the implementation, of throwing and kicking coaching resources to influence the game at club and school level.
With 47 Scotland caps between 2005 and 2018, Lawson will be known to many already. A product of Biggar RFC, he retired from the professional game in 2018 after a successful career at Glasgow Warriors, Sale Sharks, Gloucester Rugby, London Irish and Newcastle Falcons.
He has previously worked in similar roles at Scottish Rugby as Scotland U20 forwards coach and consulted as a throwing coach for several national representative teams. Lawson joins Scottish Rugby on a full-time basis from his position at St Andrews University as Director of Rugby and from Stirling County as their Super6 defence coach.
He said: “Since retiring from playing four years ago I have been fortunate to have developed my coaching in a number of great environments.
“I’m very grateful to The University of St Andrews and Stirling County however the opportunity to work with Scottish Rugby has come at the perfect time for me.
“I’m looking forward to working with Kenny Murray and the rest of the team to further develop the next generation of Scottish players.”
Craig Dods joins Scottish Rugby from Gala RFC where he is the Development Officer. In his new role he will work alongside Chris Paterson who will continue as specialist kicking coach across the professional and international teams. Dods has previously held the same position at Kelso RFC and was Head of Women’s Rugby in Hungary for two seasons leading them to their best-place finish on the Rugby Europe sevens circuit.
Dods will be known to some in the Scottish Rugby coaching network as he often delivers courses on Scottish Rugby’s Coach Development Pathway. He assisted with the Scotland U16 programme in 2019/2020 and has regularly coached FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy regional age-grade sides since 2017. He is the son of former Scotland and British and Irish Lions full-back, Peter Dods.
Craig said: “Kicking has been a passion of mine from a young age so I’m excited that this role will allow me the scope to work with players on an individual basis to really drill down into improving their kicking whilst helping other coaches improve their delivery of Scotland’s national principles too.
“I’m looking forward to helping shape the next generation of talented rugby players in Scotland.”
Scottish Rugby’s Head of Player Transition Kenny Murray said: “To have two specialist full-time coaches in key areas of the game will really help all Scotland teams drive forward and upskill the next generation of players in our country.
“To have someone of Scott’s calibre join us in a full-time capacity is really exciting. His ability to pass on all his skills, technicalities and experiences will be valuable to the development of all players. Craig is a talented young coach who has come through Scottish Rugby’s coaching pathway. His enthusiasm and technical knowledge for all aspects of the skill will help our kickers grow into the best players that they can be.”
Image of Scott Lawson (right) SNS/Scottish Rugby, image of Craig Dods (left) Ewan Bootman Photography