Dickinson relishing new opportunities at Glasgow
Glasgow Warriors’ latest scrummaging coach Alasdair Dickinson is a face well known in Scottish rugby circles with more than 100 Edinburgh appearances and 58 Scotland caps to his name.
However, if there is one thing, he thought he wouldn’t do in his career it would be pulling on the blue and black of the Warriors.
Sitting down with glasgowwarriors.org in the squad’s third week of pre-season training he said: “It’s really good to be here and to get to know the players and the coaches, but it’s strange, I’m a fresh face in the camp – I never thought I’d wear the Glasgow badge.”
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Despite his east-coast allegiances from his playing days, the opportunity to coach with Glasgow was one too good to miss.
He continued: “Chances to work in Scotland are few and far between and can be like gold dust so, from my family’s perspective this was an important move, but also, when I spoke to Danny and he set out his vision I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”
Since retiring from playing in 2018 Dickinson has amassed valuable coaching experiences with a variety of outfits from the Scottish Rugby Academy as well as stints with Scotland Women, U20, and more recently the high flying Gallagher Premiership side Bristol Bears.
He said: “Each set up I’ve worked in has been quite different, Bristol Bears had their own purpose-built facility for instance, and I enjoyed my time there and learned a huge amount.
“What strikes me so far at Glasgow though is how much Scotstoun carries a sense of this being the club’s home.”
Reflecting further on life at his new home at Scotstoun, Dickinson shared the importance of setting the foundations at the scrum ahead of the new season.
He said: “Scrum wise we’re getting back to basics – body shape and positioning for instance. We’re solidifying the fundamentals and sharpening the knife so when we get into the season these foundations are set and we can focus on the specific requirements for each game.
“Looking at individuals, I worked with Tom Lambert at Scotland U20 and he’s a definite prospect, also Murray McCallum, who was coming through the Academy at Edinburgh when I was playing. Then there is the likes of Fraser Brown, an established internationalist.
“Right now, I’m using this period to get to know the scrummagers and to understand and identify what systems have worked well and where we need to focus on developing.”
Though Dickinson is firmly focussed on underpinning the fundamentals of the scrum, he does still have a close eye on the new United Rugby Championship getting underway in October, with the added dynamic of South Africa’s top franchises joining the league.
He continued: “The URC concept is great and it’s really exciting to have the South African teams joining, their presence will be massive for all the countries involved.
“We know that each team will pose a different challenge at the scrum, and that the South African sides will boast an aggressive and dominant set piece. First and foremost, we’ll focus on ourselves and getting the fundamentals right, then we will look at the new opportunities that going up against those teams will pose.
“All in all, hopefully the new season will be back to some resemblance of normality after a challenging year. I can’t wait to get started and showcase some great rugby.”