Home Rugby Mike Blair: Former Edinburgh head coach has WhatsApp group to thank for Kobe Steelers job

Mike Blair: Former Edinburgh head coach has WhatsApp group to thank for Kobe Steelers job

Mike Blair: Former Edinburgh head coach has WhatsApp group to thank for Kobe Steelers job


Dave Rennie and Mike Blair during their time with Glasgow Warriors
Dave Rennie pointed the way in which to Japan for Mike Blair

Japan-bound Mike Blair has revealed he received his supply to be Dave Rennie’s assault coach at Kobe Steelers by way of a web based WhatsApp chat group.

Blair made the shock announcement in February that he would stand down as Edinburgh head coach on the finish of the 2022-23 season.

The previous Scotland scrum-half labored beneath Rennie when the New Zealander was Glasgow Warriors head coach.

“We have nonetheless received a WhatsApp group with that teaching workforce,” mentioned Blair, 42.

“Dave was getting some abuse for shedding his job with Australia and one of many guys, John Manson, mentioned, ‘you will be off to Japan then’. And I jokingly mentioned, ‘in case you fancy taking an assault coach, I am in’.

“He really messaged me individually and mentioned, ‘Mike, are you really ?’ So I mentioned, ‘oh geez, yeah!'”

Blair will start work in August as Kobe Steelers look to regain the Japanese title after Saitama Wild Knights took the crown final 12 months.

The Scot insists he had no concept the place he can be heading subsequent when he defined in February that he wished to become “a world class assault coach”.

“The choice I made again in February to not proceed the job with Edinburgh as head coach opened up a number of alternatives, so it wasn’t massively deliberate as such,” he informed BBC Scotland’s Sportsound when explaining how the brand new job happened.

“I did not actually go searching for alternatives. I did not wish to rush into doing something after which this fell in our lap.

“And, when the household began desirous about it, we thought what an excellent alternative for us as a household and pushing my teaching profession as effectively.”

Blair is “excited” to workforce up with Rennie, who he regards as the most effective coach he has labored with together with Scotland’s Gregor Townsend, and likewise “get out of my consolation zone”, contemplating he has solely spent three years of his profession exterior of his homeland.

“We’re going to have a very robust squad and it is a good degree,” he added. “Most likely about 5 or 6 years in the past, you noticed numerous New Zealanders, South Africans and Australians going over there within the twilight of their profession and selecting up good cash and never taking part in an enormous quantity.

“However now you might be seeing world class gamers taking part in there and growing. There’s a tremendous pool of gamers there and, as an assault coach, the way in which that they play the sport there – ball in play quite a bit, actually thrilling – is one thing I’m actually trying ahead to as effectively.”



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