Sir Ian McGeechan has been appointed consultant director of rugby at Doncaster

Championship side Doncaster Knights have confirmed the appointment of Sir Ian McGeechan as consultant director of rugby. The former Scotland and British and Irish Lions coach will mentor head coach Joe Ford, brother of England fly-half George, to “create a new era” in the club’s 150th anniversary year.

Ford had stepped into the breach at Castle Park after the sudden, shock departure of former director of rugby Steve Boden who quit the club after three-and-a-half years at the helm, citing that he wants “a bit more out of life”.

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Doncaster are currently second in the Championship table behind leaders Ealing Trailfinders and were the only club to be given promotion approval last year by the RFU, but they ultimately finished the season sixth with now-defunct Jersey Reds taking the crown.

McGeechan Doncaster statement

A statement on the club’s website read: “Sir Ian excelled as a player, captaining Scotland on nine occasions before moving on to a highly successful coaching career. Scotland, the British & Irish Lions, Northampton Saints and London Wasps all benefitted from his knowledge and drive, during his illustrious rugby career for which he was recognised with an OBE in 1990 and a knighthood in 2010 for services to rugby.”

Knights president Steve Lloyd added: “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, very willingly agreed to come and give us a hand creating the future at Castle Park.

“We continue to be focussed on development at Doncaster Knights, whether that be players, coaches or the club itself and I cannot think of a better mentor for Head Coach Joe Ford or a better fount of knowledge for the whole team and the club’s development generally”.

Doncaster head coach Joe Ford will be supported by Sir Ian McGeechan (Getty Images)

Boden’s mid-season departure comes at a time where the future of the Championship is up in the air as the RFU negotiates the new Professional Game Partnership (PGP). The English governing body are keen to create a ‘Premiership 2’ but the franchise model – which could see the return of the likes of Wasps, London Irish and Worcester who all went bust last season – has faced significant opposition.

In an interview with The Yorkshire Post, Boden said: “I’ve left because I want to spend time with my family. I’ve left because, and this is no fault of the club because it’s a really well-run club, but the RFU are struggling to see positivity around the Championship.

“I’m looking at where rugby is and how it’s under-pinned by extremely wealthy businessmen and how that can crumble at any time.

“I went through administration with Leeds only four years ago, I’m looking for a bit more out of life.

“At the moment there’s too much uncertainty around professional rugby. I’ve witnessed that, having gone through administration. You’re constantly waiting to see what the RFU want to do, but I’ve been waiting for that for 12 years and at some point you’ve got to put yourself first.”

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