Rob Chrystie leaving Southern Knights for Edinburgh academy coaching job

Southern Knights head coach Rob Chrystie is quitting to take up a coaching post at United Rugby Championship side Edinburgh’s academy.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 9:00 am
Southern Knights head coach Rob Chrystie watching his side play Stirling County at Melrose last month (Photo: Ross Parker/SNS Group/SRU)
Southern Knights head coach Rob Chrystie watching his side play Stirling County at Melrose last month (Photo: Ross Parker/SNS Group/SRU)

The Hawick-born 43-year-old will leave the Melrose-based Fosroc Super6 side at the end of this month to take up his new job in the capital at the beginning of December.

He’ll be responsible for overseeing the development of the 15 contracted Scottish Rugby Academy players on Edinburgh’s books.

Chrystie has been in charge of Southern Knights since the formation of the semi-professional side in 2019 and was Melrose’s head coach prior to that, having been at the Greenyards for the last nine years in various coaching roles.

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His last match in charge of the beaten Super6 play-off finalists, featuring nine Edinburgh players in their starting line-up, was a friendly victory over Newcastle Falcons last Friday.

During his playing days, he played at scrum-half for his native Hawick, Melrose, Bath, Coventry and the Border Reivers, as well as Scotland A.

He was assistant coach to Craig Chalmers and John Dalziel at Melrose before taking over as head coach and was also in charge of the Scotland Club XV side for two seasons.

“I’m delighted to be taking up the academy coaching position at Edinburgh,” said Chrystie.

“To have the opportunity to help shape and develop young players who are keen to learn their trade is something I’m passionate about.

“This has not been an easy decision to leave the Greenyards as I’ve loved my time with both Melrose and Southern Knights.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Mike Dalgetty who has helped me endlessly and all the supporters for their amazing backing over these last nine years.

“I feel privileged to have worked with a great group of players during my time at Melrose and Southern Knights and I can't thank them enough for all their time and effort.

“Opportunities like this only come around occasionally and I feel that, for both my career and my family, this is the right move at this stage in my coaching journey.”

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair said: “Rob is a fantastic coach with a great track record of developing and nurturing young Scottish players.

“He’ll be a welcome addition to our coaching group and adds another dynamic to what is an already talented off-field team.

“Rob’s experience with Melrose, Southern Knights and several Scotland age-grade sides will be invaluable as he works with the next generation of Edinburgh players.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming to Rob to the club and I’m sure he’ll hit the ground running once in post."

Southern Knights chairman Dominic Taddei added: “We have real mixed feelings that our head coach is to join Edinburgh.

“On the one hand, we are delighted that Rob’s fantastic coaching talent is being recognised and he will be able to further his career within Scottish rugby, which is exactly what the Fosroc Super6 is aiming to achieve for both players and performance coaching staff.

“At the same time, we are disappointed to be losing such a great coach.

“We are extremely grateful for everything Rob has done for both Southern Knights and Melrose over the last nine years and wish him the very best for the next stage in his coaching career.

“We will now begin the process of seeking Rob’s successor and look forward to identifying the best coach to build upon the strong foundations laid by him.”

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