Nichol steps down from Gala coaching role

Scott Nichol and George Graham
Scott Nichol and George Graham
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Gala backs coach Scott Nichol will stand down from his position at Netherdale following this weekend’s final Kings of the Sevens tournament, hosted by Jed-Forest RFC.

Nichol, who has been the assistant to Gala head coach George Graham, said: “After four years of service to this club I think that it is time for some fresh ideas. Also, I’ve got a reasonably young family and I want to be able to spend more time with them.”

Scott Nichol

Scott Nichol

As a player, Nichol was an outstanding stand-off/centre with Selkirk before joining Melrose and making a number of appearances for South of Scotland.

Yet his one Scotland cap was as a wing when he came on as a replacement during the Scots’ second Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1994. His club career continued at Peebles where he became a player/coach and it was from the Gytes club that he moved to Netherdale to team up with George Graham.

Under Nichol’s tutelage Gala have finished second in the Premiership in the past two seasons.

“If you look at where we’ve come from and where we are now that shows what a valuable contribution Scott has made,” said Gala president, Scott Dalgleish.

The hunt is now on for a replacement, but, as yet, no names have been mentioned. Dalgleish hinted the Maroons might go down the same path as Currie, who have appointed former Edinburgh centre, Ben Cairns, as their head coach to succeed Ally Donaldson.

“We will certainly be looking at the possibility of bringing in a professional at the end of his career,” said Dalgleish, whose own son, Chris – currently coaching the second XV backs and making an impact with the Gala sevens team – could come into the reckoning.

This weekend, teams will head to Riverside Park as the Kings of the Sevens series comes to a close (see pages 78-79). Melrose have already nailed the top spot, but if Gala make the final they will come second. Only seven points separate second and sixth teams.

z Next weekend (Saturday, May 24), Walkerburn RFC will be celebrating its 130th birthday with a special playing of their own rugby sevens tournament at Caberston Haugh.

More in next week’s Southern Reporter.