Selkirk parade new coaching team

TWO former Selkirk players will coach the club’s 1st XV in season 2011/2012, writes Fiona Scott.

Ewen Robbie takes charge of the forwards, with ex-professional player Ali Dickson responsible for the backs.

Current team manager Brian Cassidy becomes 1st XV coaching director.

Robbie, 37, has coached Selkirk’s A XV for the past six years, twice as player-coach.

For the past two seasons the side has finished runners-up in the Borders District League, while in the current campaign the A team is one victory away from clinching the Reserve League East 1 title.

“I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge,” said Robbie, who is in the final stages of completing his level three UK coaching certificate.

“There is good strength in depth at the club right now, which augurs well for the future.”

Robbie, who played at hooker, made more than 200 senior appearances for Selkirk between 1992 and 2007, hanging up his boots on the club’s centenary tour to Dublin.

Dickson, 33, began his rugby career with Walkerburn before joining Selkirk in 1996.

He made 119 senior appearances for the club before a knee injury ended his playing career in 2007. After making five starts for Scotland’s under-21 side in 1999 he had a spell with Melrose before being signed as a professional by Edinburgh.

“I assisted Brian Cassidy with the coaching at Philiphaugh for a couple of seasons,” said Dickson, “so I’m very pleased to have been asked to return next season and take on the role of backs coach.”

Robbie and Dickson take over the coaching reins at Philiphaugh from Graham Marshall and Rodney Pow.

Also this week, Hawick won their final Premier A game of the season at Old Anniesland against Glasgow Hawks by 19-17.

The four points they won will be turned into minus one because of their five-point deduction for not fulfilling this fixture last week, but to dent Hawks’ hopes of winning the championship was much more than many had predicted.

Although Hawks won the try-count 3-1, they lost the game thanks to an all-round team effort and a remarkable individual performance by Stuart Hogg who kicked 14 points with four penalties (including a 55-metre effort) and a conversion of Nick Mactaggart’s try.