Chrystie takes the reins of Melrose and Edinburgh Napier Super 6 franchise

Super 6 coaches announced with strong UKCC Level 4 coaching course representation

Date posted

17 December 2018


Rob Chrystie has been announced as the head coach of the new Melrose and Edinburgh Napier franchise team as plans for the Super 6 rugby competition continue to gather pace.

Following the recent signing of the tournament Licence Agreements between all six clubs taking part and Scottish Rugby, the new posts have been confirmed this week with Chrystie officially starting in his new full-time position from January 2019.

The successful Super 6 head coaches include four from the Tennent’s Premiership: the aforementioned Rob Chrystie (Melrose), Peter Murchie (Ayr), Steve Lawrie (Watsonians) and Ben Cairns, who will leave Currie to join Stirling Country. They are joined by Ciaran Beattie and Graham Shiel, who take up the roles at Heriot’s and Boroughmuir respectively.

Each head coach was interviewed, recruited and will be employed directly by each individual club. Scottish Rugby was involved in an advisory and oversight capacity, with the final decision on whom to recruit being decided by each club.

Edinburgh Napier has links with a number of the new head coaches, with four of the six – Graham Shiel, Ciaran Beattie, Ben Cairns and Steve Lawrie - having completed or in the process of completing the UKCC Level 4 coaching qualification. This programme is delivered by the Univeristy in partnership with Scottish Rugby.

Rob Chrystie, who is current head coach of reigning Scottish Premiership champions Melrose, said: “The club has been at forefront of the domestic game for the past ten years, as league winners four times in the past eight seasons, so it’s really exciting to be part of a championship that will continue to push the boundaries of the game in Scotland.

“I currently balance a full-time job alongside being head coach and that takes up a lot of hours. I’d like to think we do a good job now, but time is a massive issue. Being full-time will definitely allow me to improve the quality of coaching we deliver.

“It’ll be really good to get the head down and look at ways we can drive the club forward, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.

“We want to develop more partnerships on the and the players in the wider area to deliver something of real quality, while I hope to develop myself as coach by upskilling and working in different ways.

“Obviously, it’s about developing the players, first and foremost, and be right at the top end of both the Super 6 and cross-border competitions.

“That’s how we’ll be judged and being full-time gives us the best opportunity to really develop ourselves and create an environment that people and players want to be part of and progress though.”

Edinburgh Napier’s partnership with Melrose was announced in May this year, with the link-up giving their players access to the University’s high-performance strength and conditioning facilities and sports science expertise. It will also create a training base for city-based players.

As well as giving Edinburgh Napier a foothold in the Super 6 scene, the partnership will also give students access to work experience opportunities at the club, home of the world-famous Melrose 7s.

In addition to the partnership with Melrose, Edinburgh Napier also plans to work with the Boroughmuir and Watsonians franchises to assist with players’ development and education.

Dr Susan Brown, Edinburgh Napier’s Lead for Partnerships and Enterprise, Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, said: “We’re delighted to see four Edinburgh Napier current or graduated PG Dip/UKCC Level 4 coaches among the six announced for the upcoming Super 6 competition. This is a positive endorsement of their talent and of Edinburgh Napier’s Sport Science academic expertise in coach development. It also highlights the fantastic commitment from Scottish Rugby to support home-grown talent.

“We’re looking forward to working with Rob and his players closely in the coming months to support the delivery of higher performance levels in the top tier of the domestic game in Scotland.”

Edinburgh Napier already has strong links with Scottish Rugby’s governing body, with the Sighthill campus hosting the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy for almost three years.

Pic - Melrose Rugby.