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Last Updated:  Saturday, 29 March, 2003, 17:34 GMT
Victorious farewell for Geech
Ian McGeechan has worked wonders as a coach
Scotland coach Ian McGeechan bowed out of his last Six Nations match with a victory over Italy at Murrayfield.

McGeechan will step down after the World Cup and succeed Jim Telfer as the Scottish Rugby Union's director of rugby.

Telfer will retire from his post following the tournament in Australia in November.

The Scots scored four tries in an exciting 33-25 win over the battling Italians to end this year's tournament in fourth place.

"We were very good in patches but gave the ball away too easily in others," McGeechan told BBC Radio Scotland.

"I suppose that sums up our season.

"We played some great stuff in the first half and could have been 10 or 15 points clear.

"We opened up the game and created a lot of opportunities, but in the second half there were too many unforced errors."

We're now totally focused on the World Cup
Ian McGeechan
Scotland coach
But while the coach may be disappointed after this year's displays, McGeechan's contribution to the development of northern hemisphere rugby has been colossal.

He is the only man to have coached three successive British and Irish Lions tours and was victorious on two of those occasions.

With the aid of McGeechan's strategic insight, the Lions showed they could master the might of the southern hemisphere heavyweights.

McGeechan's Scotland highlights include a famous 13-7 win over England in 1990 to seal the Grand Slam.

Among his other notable achievements was a fourth place finish at the 1991 World Cup.

Reflecting on his times in charge at Murrayfield, McGeechan said: "This is a special place.

"The relationship between the supporters and the team is as good as there is in international rugby."

McGeechan played 32 times for Scotland, captaining the side on nine occasions.

A talented centre with Yorkshire club Headingly, he scored 21 points for his country and toured with the Lions in 1974 and 1977.

He then went on to coach Scotland from 1988 to 1993 after a two year stint as assistant.

Scotland were 33-25 winners against Italy
A five year spell in charge at Northampton ended with a return to the Scotland fold to work alongside Telfer at the 1999 World Cup.

McGeechan first coached the Lions in the successful tour of Australia in 1989, before losing the 1993 series in New Zealand.

In 1997 he masterminded a 2-1 Lions win over South Africa.

Hopes were high for this season's Six Nations when McGeechan led Scotland to their first ever clean sweep in an Autumn series with November wins over Romania, South Africa and Fiji.

However, the tournament has proved something of a disappointment, with Scotland losing heavily to Ireland, France and England.

A summer tour to South Africa beckons and McGeechan will want to go out on a high in Australia.

"We're now totally focused on the World Cup," added McGeechan.

"I think we can be very competitive out there.

"We'll be working on a high speed, high impact game that I think suits us."

Bill McLaren
"McGeechan will be missed"

Scots must find tries
28 Mar 03 |  Internationals
We must beat Italy
27 Mar 03 |  Internationals

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