Hawick’s Scott MacLeod back on ball at Newcastle Falcons as coach

Scott MacLeod helping out with coaching at Hawick in October 2016 (Pic: SNS Group/SRU/Graham Stuart)Scott MacLeod helping out with coaching at Hawick in October 2016 (Pic: SNS Group/SRU/Graham Stuart)
Scott MacLeod helping out with coaching at Hawick in October 2016 (Pic: SNS Group/SRU/Graham Stuart)
Hawick’s Scott MacLeod is getting back on the ball at English Premiership rugby side Newcastle Falcons.

The former Scottish international was a lock for the Kingston Park club from 2012 to 2016, making 61 appearances, then moving into their coaching team after retiring from playing, only giving up that role last year to take up a post with his family’s glazing firm, Hawick’s MacLeod Glass.

The 44-year-old is returning to rugby as a specialist lineout coach, initially until the end of the current season, but will also carry on working for his family’s Burnfoot Industrial Estate business.

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Explaining that comeback, MacLeod, capped 24 times for Scotland between 2004 and 2011, told the club’s website: “I’ve missed the place a lot.

“I’m now working for my family’s business, MacLeod Glass, but I’m sure any sportsperson will tell you they miss being in and around that team environment.

“It’s certainly very different going from a premiership rugby club to working in a factory every day, and it’s been a shock to the system.

“I’ll now get to combine both, and I’ve missed being involved with the professional game.

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“I’ve been coaching my son’s S2 side to get my rugby fix, but I’m buzzing to be back with the Falcons. It’s a really special club for me.”

He rejoins Falcons as they set their sights on getting out of the basement spot in the ten-team premiership table.

They’re currently 18 points adrift of second-bottom Gloucester and facing the prospect of a relegation play-off, but they’ve got six games of the season left to go, with up to 30 points at stake, starting with a trip to fifth-placed Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, March 23.

Looking ahead to that run-in, MacLeod, formerly an adviser to ex-head coach Nikki Walker at defending Scottish Premiership champions Hawick, said: “I just want us to get our identity back.

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“I’ll come in, assess our strengths and our weaknesses and come up with a plan accordingly.

“I know some of the players really well and I don’t know others at all, but luckily with us having this big break before our next game, it’s absolutely ideal timing for getting things in place.

“One thing you have to bear in mind with Newcastle is how bad the weather is, in terms of how much you can push it in the lineout, but I just want to get the confidence back into the boys.

“It’s about simple things being done well on a consistent basis.

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“I’ve got a few weeks to get to know the guys I’ve not worked with before, see how it all ties in with the lads I already know and then knit it all together into a game-plan which works best for the team.

“I just want us to have that Newcastle Falcons identity again when it comes to the lineout, and I’m really positive about things.

“Our lineout has consistently been in the top four of the premiership over the past few years, so hopefully I can come in and help get us back up there.

“I’ve been watching the games from afar this season because Newcastle Falcons are still a big part of my life, even though I’ve not been personally involved since the summer.

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“I just want to come in and make a positive difference, get us back to where we should be and help the boys.

“We’ll see how it works between now and the end of the season, and if everyone’s happy, then we can see where it goes."

Falcons consultant director of rugby Steve Diamond added: “Scott is a well-respected lineout specialist who can help us make some big gains in that area between now and the end of the season.

“He knows and loves the club, he’s very well regarded here and I’m looking forward to getting him back involved.

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“We’ve initially said it’s until the end of the season and I know Scott has other business commitments, but if it works well for both parties over the next few months, then we’ll be happy to look at extending it beyond that.”

MacLeod’s other previous clubs include Hawick, Border Reivers, Edinburgh, Llanelli Scarlets and Japan’s Kobelco Kobe Steelers.