Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tait Bouncing Back after Falcons 'Stress and Strain'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tait Bouncing Back after Falcons 'Stress and Strain'

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK SMITH

AFTER two and a half years in the rugby wilderness Alan Tait finally has a smile back on his face, even if the wounds from his Newcastle Falcons exit are not entirely healed.

Stood down from duty in January 2012 after two wins from 13 league games, the dual-code Lions international is now helping bring through the next generation as a skills coach with the Scottish Rugby Union.

"It is pretty full-on, but I am loving being back in the game and getting out there coaching," said Tait, speaking from Murrayfield. "I am basically floating round all the national agegroup sides from 16 to 20, and working with the academy boys.

"As well as the young players I am helping develop Scottish coaches, with people like Chris Paterson as a former Scotland great now doing his coaching badges and working on kicking.

"It is early days so far, but it is going well. I am just delighted to be back involved in the game."

That joy goes some way to off-setting the gloom surrounding his departure as Falcons head coach, a blow from which Tait admits he took some time to recover.

"I was put on gardening leave which means I still got paid, and that was only right given the stress and the strain that you get put under," he said.

"The previous owner had unrealistic goals on a ridiculous budget which you could never make work, but I never said so in the newspapers at the time because I was asked not to.

"Trying to put a team together to compete in the Premiership for around PS2.7m as a young coach in my first top job - it broke me.

"I tried my damnedest, I really did, but I felt let down in the end.

"I had maybe done my time there, but some of the comments from senior players saying things were much better after I left - some of those lads need to have a good hard look at themselves.

"I gave them the freedom to play rugby, but some of them were more interested in seeing what they could get from the new owner and what money they could take out of the club."

Tait added: "When the new ownership came in I was promised time, even if we were relegated into the Championship.

"We said we would build a young side based on local talent, and I was led to believe that was the way we would go. …

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