Jed-Forest head coach Scott Tomlinson quits after Musselburgh defeat

Scott Tomlinson has quit as head coach of Jed-Forest following an exchange of words over indiscipline among his players during their 38-31 defeat by Musselburgh on Saturday.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 10:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 2:13 pm
Scott Tomlinson has quit as head coach at Jed-Forest (Photo: Brian Sutherland)
Scott Tomlinson has quit as head coach at Jed-Forest (Photo: Brian Sutherland)

The former Selkirk player has issued a statement announcing his departure after a year and a half at the Jedburgh club, saying: “It is with regret that I will be stepping down as head coach at Jed-Forest.

“I would like to thank the coaching team of Neil Cook, Mike Howe, John Auchinleck and David Grieve for their patience and support over the past couple of years during very challenging times with Covid. It’s been very much appreciated.

“I would like also to give thanks to the Jed-Forest management and supporters for their support and I wish them all the best for the rest of the season and for the future.

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Scott Tomlinson, in the middle at the back, at a past players' lunch at Selkirk in 2019 with, back from left, Jed-Forest president Paul Cranston and Gus Boag, plus, front, Iwan Tukalo, Bryan Hoggan and Gary Armstrong (Photo: Grant Kinghorn)

“Lastly, thank you to Ali Campbell and Colin Yourston for providing me the opportunity to coach at Jed-Forest.

“Thank you to all those players who have supported me in my time at Jed and I wish you all every success in the future.”

Tomlinson, 45, was less diplomatic talking to David Barnes at Scottish rugby news website the Offside Line after seeing his players pick up two red cards and two yellows in East Lothian on Saturday, saying: “We looked unfit and there was a real rustiness to us.

“I’m disappointed with the cards, and that’s nothing to do with the referee. It’s absolutely embarrassing. It was completely out of order.

“It is really important to not just be a good rugby player but be a good person within yourself, and there were a lot of boys out on that field who let themselves down.

“We were sharper to the fight than we were to the breakdown. It was just bang out of order.”

Club president Paul Cranston added: “Jed-Forest can confirm that Scott Tomlinson is no longer our head coach.

“It's been a difficult season for all of us at Riverside Park, especially for Scott, who, in his first season as coach, had to coach for a whole season without any rugby.

“We'd like to thank Scott for all his commitment over the past 18 months.”

Coaching duties for Hawick’s visit on Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, will be left in the hands of the rest of the current team.

The Greens won the reverse fixture 24-7 at Mansfield Park in mid-October and Cranston says he’ll be hoping to see Jed give them more of a game this time round.

“It’s going to be a tough one,” he said.

“We were well beaten last time but we’ll be looking to make amends.

“Certainly, when you’re at home, you look to give a good account of yourselves.”

Jed are currently sixth in the 10-team table on 26 points from 13 games, with five left to play, and, being 11 points off a top-half place, Cranston says he’d be content with that come the end of the season.

“We’ve got five games to go, three of them at home, and realistically we’d be quite happy with the position we’re in at the moment,” he said.

“I don’t think we can now look to finish any higher than that.”

Hawick, out of action last weekend due to Covid-19 protocols, are fourth in the table with 47 points from 14 games.