Ex-Gala winger Lawson is boss at Grangemouth

National Division rugby at Glensburgh is the ambition for Chris Lawson , the newly-appointed head coach of Grangemouth Stags.
Chris Lawson (picture by Michael Gillen).Chris Lawson (picture by Michael Gillen).
Chris Lawson (picture by Michael Gillen).

The 34-year old Galashiels native comes to the club on the back of a spell with local rivals Falkirk, as their head coach and latterly as a player.

As well as his time in charge at Sunnyside, the former Gala winger also had three years with Stags’ Caledonia 1 rivals Garioch in Inverurie, plus 12 years working for Scottish Rugby as a development officer.

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Of his recruitment, Lawson said: “It was a two-stage process with the interviews being done over Zoom. I put my vision to them about how I wanted to develop the club and the players, then the second stage was me putting together a presentation about how I would implement that vision.”

As head coach at Falkirk, Lawson worked with a large pool of players with the 1st XV competing in National Divisions 1 and 2.

Now, with a tighter knit group of players, he is looking to build on the work done by predecessor Craig Deacons and the committee in previous seasons to get Stags in to the national divisions for the first time in over a decade.

“It will be a challenge to regularly put out two competitive XVs, with guys doing shift work, but we are looking to do it,” he said. “It’s important to me to have two full squads training and playing, as it will increase the standards. 

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“We’re looking at potential promotion to National 3 by winning Caledonia 1. 

“The club has done a fantastic job of developing the facilities and making an environment where people want to be. Now it’s about building on that and continuing to develop that culture – making it a place where people want to come to play rugby. 

Lawson’s plan for success and developing his squad will be built on one group of players, rather than two clear XVs.

“It’s about developing the culture and competition for places. Ultimately, we need guys training more regularly and fighting for places. 

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“Players need to want to be the best they can be. Not that they don’t already, but we need to work on that and increase standards. 

“We want to create an inclusive environment where everyone is equal, we won’t have a model of a clear 1st and 2nd XV, it will be one squad to create an environment where guys want to better themselves.

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