Melrose stalwart Bruce Ruthven to take over as head coach at Southern Knights

Melrose head coach Bruce Ruthven is to take charge of Fosroc Super6 semi-professional rugby side Southern Knights.

By Darin Hutson
Monday, 13th December 2021, 11:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 8:47 am
Bruce Ruthven has been appointed as head coach of Fosroc Super6 side Southern Knights, replacing Rob Chrystie
Bruce Ruthven has been appointed as head coach of Fosroc Super6 side Southern Knights, replacing Rob Chrystie

The 42-year-old has been announced as Rob Chrystie’s replacement following his departure this month to take up a coaching post at United Rugby Championship team Edinburgh’s academy and he will start that role at the fellow Melrose club at the beginning of January.

Bert Grigg, currently part of Ruthven’s coaching team at Melrose and also rugby development officer at East Regional League side Duns, will take over as interim head coach of their first team, as well as their reserves, for the remainder of the current Tennent’s National League Division 1 season.

Former club captain Ruthven, also currently full-time rugby co-ordinator at Erskine Stewart’s Melville College in Edinburgh, played for Melrose just short of 200 times before moving into coaching.

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He was head coach for fellow National League Division 1 side Watsonians for the 2019-20 season before returned to the Greenyards in May 2020 to take charge of his old team.

Ruthven has also held various Scotland age-grade coaching roles and is one of only a handful of Scots to have attained a level-four UK coaching certificate.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity and challenge of the head coach role with the Knights,” he said.

“It’s an exciting time for the franchise with new beginnings and I’m sure everyone is gunning for the start of the season.

“I have really enjoyed my time with the club XV and Storm at Melrose, and I’m confident we will see continued development from these players in the future.

“I will be moving on from Stewart’s Melville College also, which has been a great institution to be involved with and has given me a lot of great memories.”

Rob Moffat, co-director of rugby at Melrose, added: “Bruce knows how the club operates but also has experience in a variety of roles which will give him the experience to take on this job.

“We will give him all the support he requires to build and develop the Knights and we look forward to next season when Fosroc Super6 returns.”

Knights, founded in 2019, finished last season at the top of the Super6 table but lost out to Ayrshire Bulls 26-16 in a play-off final in Edinburgh in October.

Melrose are seventh in their table, behind third-placed Gala and fourth-placed Kelso, with 39 points from 12 games.