Foreign figures hampering Scottish game - Hadden
ESPN Staff
January 18, 2014
Former and current Scotland bosses, Robinson and Johnson, share a laugh... but neither are Scottish © PA Photos

Former Scotland head coach Frank Hadden believes a multitude of foreign figures at the top level of Scottish rugby is hampering the domestic game and national team.

Hadded led Scotland between 2005 and 2009, though Australian Scott Johnson is the current occupant of his former role -and will remain on with the national team as director of rugby when New Zealander Vern Cotter takes over this summer. Hadden's tenure was book-ended by two foreign coaches - Kiwi Matt Williams and former England boss Andy Robinson.

The 59-year-old feels the influx of foreign figures in the national team is hampering the national team and development of players, due to a lack of understanding of Scottish rugby traditions.

"In my opinion there are far too many foreign people involved at the top end of the game in our country," said Hadden.

"There is nothing wrong, individually, with a lot of the people there. We have some very fine people involved at the upper end but perhaps not enough who fully appreciate the history and tradition of the game."

Most of Johnson's backroom staff are non-Scots while Edinburgh's South African head coach, Alan Solomons, has recruited several players from his homeland in recent weeks.

"I don't blame Alan Solomons for going back to what he knows to try and make progress with an Edinburgh side that was really struggling," Hadden said.

"And he has quite clearly made a difference. They have a wee bit of momentum going now. But in terms of developing international players, it's not ideal, that's for sure.

Hadden is also convinced there is a lack of direction in Scottish rugby, with the development of young talent hampered by the unrealistic targets set for managers of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

"It all stems from a lack of clarity and a strategic plan for our professional teams," he said.

"Even when I was coaching at Edinburgh and Scotland I was never really all that sure what the aims were.

"On one hand you get told that you want to produce players to play international rugby for Scotland and then the coaches are given targets that they must achieve by the end of the season otherwise they get sacked.

"That can be a bit counter-productive and I'd like to see some real clarity on the purpose of the pro-teams."

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