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Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 18:36 UK

Hadden and Scotland part company

Former Scotland coach Frank Hadden
Hadden was unable to improve Scotland's fortunes in the Six Nations

Frank Hadden has stepped down as head coach of the Scotland national rugby side with immediate effect.

The former Edinburgh coach, 54, was given the job in September 2005 and enjoyed success in his first Six Nations, recording three victories.

However, the 2007, 2008 and 2009 campaigns yielded just one win each.

"It was agreed a change in head coach is required to allow us to plan for the Rugby 2011 World Cup," said Scottish Rugby Union chief Gordon McKie.

"On behalf of the board, I have thanked Frank for his hard work and commitment during his term as national coach."

I am sorry to hear the news but it's understandable as he has found himself under enormous pressure

Former Scotland and Lions flanker Finlay Calder

However, the SRU says there may still be a role for Hadden with the Scotland set-up.

"Discussions are ongoing with Frank Hadden in relation to his future with Scottish Rugby," read an SRU statement.

The SRU will begin the recruitment process for a new head coach with immediate effect.

Former England coach Andy Robinson, now in charge of Edinburgh, and Glasgow head coach Sean Lineen are the early frontrunners.

Hadden ultimately paid the price for distinct lack of progress in terms of results while again failing to reach the SRU target of two Six Nations victories.

He enjoyed a dream start to life in the hotseat following the reign of Matt Williams, who was sacked in April 2005 after winning just three of his 17 matches in charge.

Hadden initially took over on an interim basis but wins against the Barbarians and Romania secured him the job permanently.

It got better when victory over France, England - their first Calcutta Cup win for six years - and Italy saw Scotland finish third in Hadden's debut Six Nations.

But Scotland then lost 21 of the next 32 Tests.

In fact, they have finished in the bottom two of the Six Nations five times in the last six years, taking the wooden spoon in 2007 after a humiliating home defeat to Italy.

After the 26-12 Calcutta Cup defeat by England last month - Scotland's 12th loss in their last 16 matches - Hadden claimed his squad were capable of winning the Six Nations if he had the same preparation time as their rivals.

"We have a squad of players that is capable of being very competitive at the very highest level but I am frustrated we don't get the preparation time we want.

Glasgow coach Sean Lineen
Lineen expressed sympathy for Hadden after the Six Nations

"I still believe we have a squad capable of doing something, with the proper preparation and the time to develop.

"The fact that the other teams have the control over the players they do makes life much easier for them.

"The two teams with the poorest preparation are at the wrong end of the championship. That's a fact.

"I honestly believe that we can win the championship with this squad," he said.

"England have had eight weeks' continuous preparation, whereas our guys have been going back and forward."

The defeat at Twickenham increased the pressure on Hadden but after the match skipper Mike Blair said that the coach had the full support of his squad.

606: DEBATE
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"It's individual basic errors that are letting the opposition into the game," he said.

"That's not something the coaching staff can deal with. That's for the players to deal with."

Former Scotland and Lions flanker Finlay Calder said Hadden's decision to step down was not a shock.

"I am sorry to hear the news but it's understandable as he has found himself under enormous pressure," he said.

"He has come under sometimes unwarranted criticism and I feel for him. I hope he has come to this decision himself and wish him luck.

"It is very hard to know who might replace him as there is not exactly a queue of people lining up.

"I very much hope that Andy Robinson and Sean Lineen might consider the position as they are both doing well."



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see also
The rise and fall of Frank Hadden
02 Apr 09 |  Scottish
Hadden non-committal over future
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Lineen backing under-fire Hadden
26 Mar 09 |  Scottish
Robinson sympathy for Hadden heat
25 Mar 09 |  Scottish
Inconsistency to blame - Telfer
23 Mar 09 |  Scottish
England 26-12 Scotland
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Scots are behind Hadden - Blair
19 Mar 09 |  Scottish
Hadden to discover fate in April
18 Mar 09 |  Scottish


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