Monaghan Aiming To Gain From New Zealand Experience

One of Scotland's promising young coaches is to spend five weeks in New Zealand this summer with a view to broadening his coaching experience.

Iain Monaghan, 30, Glasgow Warriors" Elite Player Development Coach, will be based with Canterbury RFU's high performance unit in New Zealand's south island, and will work alongside a host of former All Blacks as part of the John MacPhail Scholarship._ He will also be mentored by the former Fijian internationalist, Canterbury Crusaders" assistant coach Tabai Matson, during his time in New Zealand.

The Scholarship has already enabled three promising Scottish talents - lock Grant Gilchrist, stand-off/centre Harry Leonard and hooker George Turner - to travel to New Zealand last month._ The trio are spending 18 weeks in Christchurch and are playing for local clubs. In addition to his own schedule Monaghan will see how the players are developing first-hand.

Monaghan (pictured), a scrum-half in his playing days with Glasgow Southern, Currie, Glasgow Hawks, Glasgow Warriors and Viadana, benefited from a trip to Waikato with a Glasgow Thistles development squad that included future internationalists Euan Murray and Craig Hamilton in 1998 and he believes going in his current role could have a similar gain.

He said: "When this opportunity arose I decided to apply immediately._ I"m learning as a coach and want to improve._ Going out to New Zealand as a player had a massive impact on my playing career and I believe the same chance could be there to benefit my coaching.

"Personally I"m undergoing my UKCC Level 3 coaching qualification just now and that's about the processes of being a head coach._ I will be very intrigued to see what the processes are like with the Crusaders, Canterbury and within their club and academy levels and I look forward to bringing that experience back to Scotland."

The Macphail Scholarship, now in its seventh year, was established in memory of former Scotland hooker John Macphail, who died in 2004. In Macphail's business career, he was chief executive, then chairman, of the Edrington Group, a private company that is owned by the Robertson Trust.

The scholarship has a proud record of assisting the development of Scottish talent by exposing them to different environments.

Previous winners on the playing side include John Barclay, the Glasgow Warriors and Scotland player now widely considered one of the leading openside flankers in the northern hemisphere, Roddy Grant, the 2008 recipient who has captained Edinburgh for much of the past season, and Lewis Niven, who has played for the capital club in both the Magners League and Heineken Cup.

Last year's recipient, hooker Finlay Gillies,_went on to be an Elite Development player with Glasgow Warriors.

Henry Edwards, Scottish Rugby's Head of Coach Development, said: "We are indebted to The Robertson Scholarship Trust and the MacPhail Scholarship for their continued support of Scottish Rugby and we believe this new strand to the Scholarship gives Iain a great chance to take advantage of some top-level coaching in a very successful environment within world rugby."

Duncan Munro, Director The Robertson Scholarship Trust, added: "We are delighted to support this extension of the programme, knowing that up and coming talent in Scotland will benefit from the experience that Iain gleans in New Zealand, which is a boost to the future of Scottish Rugby."