Hawick head coach Matty Douglas being given the boot despite overseeing first title win since 2002

Hawick head coach Matty Douglas is being given the boot despite leading the club to their first Scottish Premiership title in over 20 years and being on the brink of doing so all over again.
Outgoing Hawick head coach Matty Douglas (Pic: Mark Scates/SNS Group/SRU)Outgoing Hawick head coach Matty Douglas (Pic: Mark Scates/SNS Group/SRU)
Outgoing Hawick head coach Matty Douglas (Pic: Mark Scates/SNS Group/SRU)

The Mansfield Park club announced yesterday, March 23, that they won’t be renewing the 28-year-old’s contract come the end of the current rugby season, and the same goes for forwards coach Lewis Bertram.

It’s not yet known whether backs coach Graham Hogg and reserves coach Matt Landels will continue in those roles.

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Both yesterday’s announcement and its timing – just weeks ahead of two of the Greens’ biggest games of the season, a Scottish cup semi-final at home to Currie Chieftains on Saturday, April 13, and their premiership play-off final hosting the same opposition on Saturday, May 4 – came as a shock to many Hawick fans, sparking speculation that a bigger name such as former Scottish international Scott MacLeod, currently lineout coach at Newcastle Falcons, is in the frame to take over ahead of an expected influx of former Fosroc Super Series players at top-flight new boys Melrose, Ayr and Watsonians and current rivals Heriot’s Blues.

The campaign about to end is Douglas’s third in charge and that time has been the Greens’ most successful spell for over two decades, seeing a third-place finish in 2022, unbeaten march to the title and Scottish cup final win last year and only one loss in all competitions en route to a table-topping finish to the current regular season.

Annoucing Douglas’s exit on the club’s website yesterday, a spokesperson said: “Hawick would like to confirm that as a result of an ongoing review into current coaching and player development, the contracts of both Matty Douglas and Lewis Bertram will not be renewed at the end of the current season.

“A decision on the coaching structure for season 2024-25 will be made when this review is completed.

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“This has been a very difficult decision for the club and not one that has been taken lightly.

“We would like to thank both Matty and Lewis for their dedication and hard work during their tenure at the club, which played a significant part in the success achieved over the last two years.”

Douglas, previously backs coach, took over from Stuart Johnson as Hawick’s head coach in July 2021.