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Doncaster Knights: Sir Ian McGeechan to become consultant director of rugby

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Doncaster Knights: Sir Ian McGeechan to become consultant director of rugby

Sir Ian McGeechan coached three teams in the Premiership – Northampton Saints, London Wasps and Bath

Former Scotland and British and Irish Lions head coach Sir Ian McGeechan is to become consultant director of rugby at Championship club Doncaster Knights.

McGeechan will act as a mentor to their head coach Joe Ford.

The 77-year-old led Scotland to their last Grand Slam in 1990 and the Lions to series victories in 1989 and 1997.

“I cannot think of a better mentor for head coach Joe Ford or a better fount of knowledge for the whole team,” said Doncaster president Steve Knight.

Sir Ian McGeechan (left) celebrates with Matt Dawson after the British and Irish Lions series win in South Africa in 1997

Born in Yorkshire to a Scottish father, McGeechan played all his club rugby for Headingley, but went on to win 32 caps for Scotland, captaining them nine times.

He also went on two Lions tours in 1974 and 1977, but it is as a coach that he has really left his mark.

Appointed Scotland coach in 1988, his crowning moment came two years later with an iconic 13-7 victory over England at Murrayfield to clinch a Five Nations Grand Slam.

By that stage he had already established himself as a Lions legend when his first tour as head coach in 1989 brought a 2-1 series victory in Australia.

He was at the helm for a narrow 2-1 series defeat in New Zealand four years later, before masterminding an against-the-odds series win over world champions South Africa in 1997, a tour immortalised in the ‘Living with Lions’ film which included footage of stirring pre-match speeches to his players.

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‘Passion for Yorkshire rugby’

McGeechan also demonstrated his coaching nous at club level, winning the European Cup with Wasps in 2007 and the English Premiership in 2008.

He also returned for a fourth Lions tour as head coach in 2009, which ended in a narrow 2-1 defeat in South Africa following three thrilling Tests.

Doncaster currently lie second in the Championship, 12 points behind Ealing Trailfinders.

However, there is currently no promotion spot available into the Premiership.

But as the Knights approach their 150th anniversary, they hope that McGeechan can impart some of his rugby wisdom.

Club president Lloyd told the club’s websiteexternal-link: “After a relationship spanning a number of years, during which we have both fought, with others, for the betterment of Championship rugby, together with our mutual passion for Yorkshire rugby, Ian, or Geech to all who know him, has very willingly agreed to come and give us a hand creating the future at Castle Park.”

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