New Edinburgh consultant Steve Diamond has revealed that a training ground fight has left the Scottish club spoiling for a Heineken Champions Cup ambush at Leicester on Friday night. The 14th-place team in the URC were soundly beaten last weekend at Connacht in their first outing with the ex-Sale and Worcester director of rugby on board as their lead rugby consultant.

He began work at the club on March 20 and is already in the thick of it, chuckling to local media that he was blamed for this week’s training ground bust-up involving unidentified players.

“I think I got the blame for it,” he beamed ahead of the Edinburgh trip to Tigers, the defending Gallagher Premiership champions who come into the round-of-16 European tie on the back of five straight league wins.

In contrast to Leicester, Edinburgh have lost eight of their last nine URC games and that frustration came out on the training ground after their first post-Six Nations match was lost 41-26 in Galway.

“The boys need to be harder on each other. There is sometimes a lethargy,” explained Diamond. “It is disjointed coming away from internationals, but Glasgow are in the same position and they seem to have grasped the nettle.

“I have had that conversation with the squad this week, to be fair. We are a little bit too nice. It resulted in a fight at training, which is what we want sometimes. You don’t want it all the time, but coming into big games like this you have got to be ready for it mentally.”

Out of work since the collapse last October of Worcester, Diamond was recruited this month by Edinburgh after it emerged earlier this year that current head coach Mike Blair wanted to step away from that role.

Diamond initially arrived at Sixways in 2021 as lead rugby consultant, but soon became director of rugby following the staggered exits of head coach Jonathan Thomas and director Alan Solomons.

Now he is back in that lead consultant role at Edinburgh until the end of this season but is keeping his cards close to his chest about his future intentions. “At the minute, the senior recruiters in the SRU and Edinburgh are looking for a new head coach and I’m going to assist them with that,” said Diamond.

“So at this moment that [succeeding Blair as head coach] is not even on the agenda for me. I want to get through these games. I’ll do a warts-and-all report on where it can improve and what is good and what is very good – and quite a lot of those things are if I’m honest. And then see where it stands in July, really. Meanwhile, if the powers that be want me to do due diligence on coaching, then I will do that.”

2023-03-31T09:09:32Z dg43tfdfdgfd