Stuart Johnson replaces Fraser Thomson as head coach at Gala ahead of next rugby season

Former Hawick and Melrose head coach Stuart Johnson has taken over the same role at Gala ahead of their next push for promotion to rugby’s Tennent’s Premiership.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 7:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 7:57 am
New Gala head coach Stuart Johnson (Photo: Gala RFC)
New Gala head coach Stuart Johnson (Photo: Gala RFC)

Johnson, previously an assistant coach, replaces Fraser Thomson.

Ex-Melrose and Southern Knights full-back Thomson had been head coach at the Galashiels club since summer 2020 but has now stepped down due to work commitments, the same reason cited by Johnson for quitting Hawick in July last year.

Craig Jackson, another former Southern Knights and Melrose player, has been appointed as backs coach after starting helping out in that role towards the end of the last Tennent’s National League Division 1 season, joining Euan Dods in a coaching team overseen by director of rugby Bill Noble.

Fraser Thomson in action for Melrose during his playing days (Photo: Douglas Hardie)

Liam Scott takes over as first-team captain for next season after regularly standing in for Rex Jeffrey during injury-enforced absences last campaign.

A spokesperson for the Netherdale club said: “Gala had a successful season after returning from the pandemic-induced lockdowns of 2020/21.

“Our new rugby and coaching team successfully put into practice their knowledge and methods.

“We would love to keep them all together for the coming season but life and work sometimes interfere.

“We are going to have to say au revoir to Fraser and thank him for putting in place the culture and structure which has helped us to get here. Unfortunately, he cannot commit as fully as the role requires and has therefore had to take the difficult decision to step away from his role as head coach.

“We are pleased to have the continuity to be able to confirm the appointment of Stuart Johnson to the position of head coach for season 2022/23. Stuart comes to that role with loads of experience in similar roles.”