Their paths crossed previously in Leicester and there was, it seems, an instant affinity between two men who are often misunderstood but do not really seem to care.

So far ex-Leicester Tiger Richard Cockerill’s commitments have meant he has not managed to renew acquaintances with former Leicester City rottweiler Neil Lennon since following him to Scotland’s capital but, in keeping with the modern trend towards cross-pollination in sport, he intends to put that right.

“I will endeavour to catch up with Neil Lennon at some point and go and see what they do, or have a few beers with him, either or,” said Edinburgh Rugby’s head coach.

“I haven’t had much time. To be fair, between getting settled and trying to sort this lot out it’s been a busy time, but once he gets back from his fancy villa somewhere I’m sure I’ll catch up with him.”

With fellow Englishman Gareth Southgate having evangelised the benefits of learning from other sports ahead of taking England to their first major tournament as their manager, Cockerill can clearly see mutual benefits in sharing experiences with the Hibernian manager whom he sees as a kindred spirit.

“We’ve socialised a little bit when we both played in Leicester,” he explained. “We’ve had a couple of quiet ones together occasionally. He’s a bit like me, he looks like he’s a thug but he’s quite intelligent. We were split at birth I think. Our paths crossed a little bit at sporting functions and socially and he’s a good man. He wears his heart on his sleeve, but he’s a smart football brain, he’s passionate.” 

Those similarities extend to the difference between the way they behave in the heat of competition and the more considered personas they convey before and after matches according to Cockerill, whose expletive-laden commentaries from the analysis area in the Murrayfield stand have become as much a feature of Edinburgh matches as Lenny’s touchline antics. 

“Clearly he’s pretty bright because he’s managed some big teams and got the best out of them, so don’t always judge the book by its cover,” he observed.

“We’re probably both very similar in that we’re just ordinary blokes who like what we do. I think all players like to see coaches and managers who care about what they do, so it’s pretty evident that he cares about what he does.”

Cockerill was given a slightly less welcome reminder of the benefits to be gained from learning from other sports when, last week, he allowed his assistant coach Duncan Hodge, a keen cricketer, to help the Scotland cricket squad in their preparations for their One Day International (ODI) meeting with England.

He made his last England appearance just a few months before Hodge scored all Scotland’s points in the Calcutta Cup match of 2000, when a team that had lost all its previous matches denied England a Grand Slam and the former stand-off was thanked by the cricketers for helping them inspire their astonishing victory over the world’s number one ranked ODI side.

“He asked if it was all right and I said it would be great experience, great fun,” said Cockerill. “He said he was going just to have a chat to the players about the rivalry of England-Scotland from a rugby point of view and that clearly did the trick, because they won on Sunday and then lost to Pakistan, so Duncan Hodge is the missing link.”

In a more serious vein he acknowledged that there could be some reciprocal benefits.

“The feedback from Hodgey at the weekend was that it was quite relaxed, whereas rugby it’s condensed into that three hours of testosterone, so there’s bits around that that are interesting and you learn,” Cockerill noted.

“You probably find in lots of ways you have similar issues with managing players and egos and the young generation to the older generation, to agents… there’s lots of those things that are very similar that can pick coaches and managers’ brains around, how they deal with it. It’s just part of educating yourself a little bit more, being a bit more rounded from your own sport.”

Meanwhile, willing as he was to join in offering credit to a member of his backroom team for another historic Scottish triumph, Cockerill was slightly more resistant to accepting personal credit for a remarkable improvement in Scottish sporting fortunes in meetings with the Auld Enemy since he crossed the Border.

“So, the football have drawn, the rugby have lost and the cricket have lost ever since I arrived. It’s great… bugger off you lot will you,” was his response to the good-natured teasing.