Glasgow Warriors head coach Sean Lineen is to leave his position and take up a role with the SRU in a highly controversial reshuffle by Scottish rugby chiefs.
Lineen will become the Scottish Rugby Union’s head of player acquisition after leaving his Warriors role at the end of the season.
The SRU today confirmed weekend reports that Scotland assistant coach Gregor Townsend would replace Lineen at the end of the current campaign.
Lineen, who has been on Glasgow’s coaching staff for nine years, will help recruit and develop players for Warriors and Edinburgh in his newly-created role, and will also coach Scotland Under-20s.
But the move has been met with widespread fury from Glasgow fans currently on the crest of a wave with their side well-placed to snatch a play-off spot next month.
Supporters believe the move is a clear indication Lineen is being taken under the Murrayfield umbrella to prepare him for the top Scotland job.
One furious fan said: “Stop interfering SRU. Last season you made us get rid of players – now the coach.”
Another blasted on Twitter: “Ah well, had been planning on buying a season ticket for Glasgow Warriors to go with my son’s one but won’t bother now.”
Announcing the decision today, Scottish Rugby’s director of performance Graham Lowe said: “Sean has given fantastic service to Glasgow Warriors as both assistant and head coach over almost a decade, and he leaves the club in very good shape for Gregor to come in and continue to push it forward.
“As well as achieving success on the pitch year on year, it’s vitally important that our professional clubs maximise their potential by consistently bringing in and developing the right sort of player with the right mentality, to the benefit of the professional clubs and, ideally, the national team.
“Sean has shown a clear ability to identify precisely that kind of player, and ticks all the boxes to be our head of player acquisition. We see it becoming an important performance role within Scottish Rugby going forward, and we’re very pleased that Sean has agreed to take it on.”