SEAN LINEEN will reprise his role as head coach of the Scotland Under-20s team this season, tasked with getting the side in the best position possible to win the U20 World Trophy next summer, in order to secure promotion back into the top tier World Championship the following year.

The age-grade side is a crucial stepping stone in the player development pathway, so relegation from the World Championship last summer was a blow, as it means this year’s crop of players will not be able to test themselves against the top rugby nations in the world, but will end up running out against the likes of Brazil, Kenya, Canada, Uruguay and Portugal instead.

The experienced Lineen – who spent six seasons as head coach of Glasgow Warriors between 2006 and 2012, laying much of the groundwork for the club’s subsequent success – is seen as a steady pair of hands to guide the team through the 2020 Six Nations and on into the summer.

Lineen last coached the Under-20s in 2015, when a side containing Zander Fagerson, Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury, Scott Cummings, George Horne, Blair Kinghorn and Rory Hutchinson achieved their first top-eight finish in the World Rugby U20 Championships.

The New Zealand-born former Scotland cap will be assisted by his old Warriors sidekick Shade Munro, who most recently coached the Scotland Women’s team for four years.

However, there is a concern that Lineen may be spread too thinly, as this role has been added to an already cluttered portfolio which includes being head of Scottish Rugby Academies, overseeing all national age-grade teams and in charge of "on-field development" of the new Super 6 league.

“The decision to bring in Lineen and Munro’s experience for the coming season is based on developing the current U20 group further alongside a recognition the country’s aspiring players have a clear objective to return to World Rugby U20 Championship level at the earliest opportunity,” said a statement issued by the SRU. “To create continuity through the senior age-grade teams Lineen and Munro will also coach the Scotland U19 side.

Lineen and Munro will be assisted by Fosroc Scottish Rugby Edinburgh Academy manager Graeme Beveridge as team manager and joined in conditioning roles by Jared Deacon, Allyn Preece and Scotland’s highest capped player Ross Ford, who has started a strength and conditioning career in the Borders Academy this summer.

“Sean and Shade’s coaching experience will be key as we work hard to return to the top table at U20 level. For our future development of Scotland players it is key our U20 are competing at an appropriate level against the best players in that age group and we need to ensure we put the appropriate coaches with the squad to support this,” said Scottish Rugby technical director Stevie Gemmell.

“We have a healthy number of coaches now in the Scottish Rugby pathway through the arrival of Super 6 and the appointment of Ciaran Beattie to Scotland 7s from Heriot’s Rugby and Stevie Lawrie joining Edinburgh from Watsonians Rugby to name just a few, so we decided to bring in some of our most experienced people in Sean and Shade to extend their work with the Academy playing group.”