Glasgow Warriors announce coaching team for Celtic Challenge

Glasgow Warriors announce coaching team for Celtic Challenge

Glasgow Warriors have confirmed the five-strong coaching team that will lead the club’s first-ever women’s setup, as preparations for the team’s debut in the Celtic Challenge continue at pace.

Chris Laidlaw will oversee the squad as Head Coach, having previously served as Attack Coach for Scotland during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.

The son of former Scotland scrum-half Roy, Laidlaw currently serves as one of Scottish Rugby’s three Performance Development coaches for the women’s and girls Regional Training Centres, first launched earlier this year.

Originally from Jedburgh, the former Boroughmuir and Scotland Club XV fly-half raised £25,000 for the Murrayfield Injured Players’ Foundation, Marie Curie and Alzheimer’s Scotland in memory of his late mother, Joy, by running 12 marathons in 12 months.

Laidlaw will be assisted by three Scotland internationals as part of his coaching team, as Lindsey Smith and Fraser Brown oversee the squad’s forwards and defence respectively and Megan Kennedy joins Stuart Lewis as assistant coaches.

Hailing from Inverness, Smith made 42 appearances in the front-row for Scotland, having made her international debut against Spain in 2011.

A former Scotland U18 and A international, the former Hillhead Jordanhill prop also serves as one of the three Performance Development coaches for the Regional Training Centres, and has previously worked for Glasgow Warriors as Community Manager.

Current Glasgow Warriors hooker Brown brings 141 club appearances worth of experience to the coaching team, having become a fixture in the front-row for club and country since his club debut back in 2013.

Having earned 55 caps in the dark blue of Scotland to date, the 34-year-old played a key role in helping Glasgow Warriors to a first-ever European final in 2022/23, and helped coach Watsonians to a FOSROC Super Series semi-final earlier this year.

Former Scotland tight-head Kennedy will dove-tail her new coaching role with her current position as Account Manager in the club’s commercial team, having earned 18 caps for her country across her playing career.

The Stirling-born prop came through the ranks with Stirling County after joining the club at the age of 14, helping the Bridgehaugh outfit to a first-ever Tennent’s Premiership title in 2022/23.

Lewis will also combine his new coaching role with his current title as Glasgow Warriors Community Manager, completing the new squad’s coaching setup.

Currently the Head Coach for the University of Strathclyde’s women’s rugby programme, he has also previously represented hometown club Ardrossan Academical at fly-half.

Speaking following the announcement, Head Coach Laidlaw expressed his excitement at the upcoming opportunity, saying: “It’s a real privilege to be Head Coach of the first Glasgow Warriors women’s team.

“The potential of the group is exciting, and I’m really looking forward to working with all the players, management and Glasgow Warriors backroom team throughout the competition as we look to add to the legacy and history of this great club.

“We are excited about the challenges that lie ahead and we’ll be working hard to be competitive across all the games during this season’s Celtic Challenge.

“I’m also excited to be working with a strong group of coaches that I know are passionate about developing this team and women’s rugby in Scotland, and we’re all looking forward to getting out there and introducing ourselves to the Warrior Nation.”

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