The Borders’ own former Scotland 7s and Edinburgh Rugby player Ciaran Beattie has been appointed new head coach of the abbreviated side, through to the end of the 2020-21 season.
Beattie represented Scotland at all age-grade levels and was a member of the Scotland 7s squad for the 2006-07 season, as well as competing for Scotland in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
He started playing at Selkirk before signing with Border Reivers. He then progressed to Edinburgh Rugby, where a persistent injury ended his career prematurely.
Beattie has most recently been with Heriot’s, developing their Super6 squad as head coach, having also held the Scotland Women assistant coach role while embarking on his UKCC Level 4 coaching qualification.
He also led Loughborough University’s rugby programme and was head coach of its first XV team.
Beattie told the Scottish Rugby website: “There is no hiding my love for sevens. This was a job that has been on my radar and, if I had the opportunity, I would go for it, so that was why I applied.
“This was always the route I wanted to go down and I’m really looking forward to getting started.
“I’ve been involved in the past as a player, a manager and an analyst. I love the intensity of it. It’s a tough sport for everyone involved, which magnifies everything to a higher-level, day in, day out.
“I think it plays an important role in developing not just players but everyone within the sevens group, as there are so many different elements to it. The sevens programme has moved on so much since I played with everyone in prime condition mentally and physically. I can’t wait to get under way.
“I’ve been greatly impressed with Heriot’s during my time there, both the people and the club. I’ve felt privileged to have held the role there and worked with some fantastic people and I’m confident they will be in a great position for Super6 when it begins.”
A few colleagues have already congratulated Beattie on social media, including another Borders player, Scotland women’s front-row forward Lana Skeldon.
Scottish Rugby’s technical director, Stephen Gemmell, said: “We had a strong pool of candidates for the sevens vacancy but Ciaran impressed us. I’m delighted he will lead our sevens programme going forward.
“I’m pleased we are in a position to appoint a young, aspirational Scottish coach who has a strong sevens background, been away coaching outside the country and then come back to Scotland, and who fully appreciates where the programme fits within Scottish Rugby.
“There is a model in place which has seen both Calum MacRae and John Dalziel recently follow a similar pathway, which demonstrates the importance we put on the sevens programme as one route to develop our players and coaches.”
“I’d particularly like to thank Heriot’s for their support of Ciaran in his decision to apply and the club’s co-operation with us around this appointment, especially with their preparations well under way for Super6. Scottish Rugby will continue to work closely with them as the club progress the appointment of a new Super6 head coach.”
Beattie will take up his new role in early August.