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Parker steps down from Scotland role

Scotland's women's rugby coach Gary Parker is to step down from his position after just over a year in the role. Parker says he cannot make the time commitment needed to stay in the role but said he thoroughly enjoyed working with the squad.

Scotland will be on the hunt for someone to take over quickly with the 6 Nations just over two months away.

Scotland are also going to be without their talismanic captain Lynne Reid who has retired and with Donna Kennedy and Veronica Fitzpatrick also stepping down, a new coach will have to work with a much less experienced squad.

They will also keenly feel the loss of centre Lucy Millard who is unlikely to be involved this year - she was a star of the World Cup and named in our team of the tournament.

After taking over at the end of last year, Parker - a well known name in the game Scotland - immediately led his side to a famous win when they beat France in the opening 6 Nations game. However the squad struggled for form after that losing three of their remaining four games in the competition.

At the World Cup, Scotland finished 8th - registering one win in their five games. Since the World Cup, they have announced a revamp of their national structure and they will operate an U20s side this season which it is hoped will boost depth at the top level.

In relinquishing his position, Parker said: Ive really enjoyed working with the players and the rest of the management team Ive worked with some incredibly committed people within the womens game and want to thank all those who supported me so well over the past year.

The job of Scotland Womans head coach is as much about the development of the game of womans rugby in Scotland along with the preparation for test matches, an example being the Tuesday night training sessions we started over and above the international squad weekends to increase the players skills and game awareness.

I feel I have been unable to commit the required time to reach the high standards I demand of myself, and that the position requires. Its nothing more than a time management issue that has led me to make this difficult decision.

The post of Scotland Women head coach will be advertised at the earliest on the Scottish Rugby web site at www.scottishrugby.org