Thanks and good Knight ahead of Gala display

The Southern Knights, and the wider Melrose Rugby family, have declared a fond farewell to Fraser Thomson, who is leaving to focus on his coaching career with Gala.

Fraser Thomson, in his days with Melrose, making an attacking burst (archive image by Douglas Hardie)
Fraser Thomson, in his days with Melrose, making an attacking burst (archive image by Douglas Hardie)

Continued uncertainty over the timetabling of competitive rugby is said to have contributed to the decision, with ‘Fraz’ committing himself full time to his head coach position at Netherdale.

A “much loved and well respected figure at The Greenyards, both on the pitch and behind the scenes,” according to a website tribute, Thomson spent 11 seasons with Melrose Rugby, playing over 230 games and scoring 106 tries.

He captained the side from 2013-2015, helping them to four Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and the Melrose 7s title in 2011.

Moving to the semi-pro Southern Knights in 2019-2020 as vice-captain, he notched one try in nine appearances before the COVID-induced suspension of rugby across the country.

The club said: “He has been an outstanding player. His magnificent attacking ability has produced some of the most memorable tries over the years. He was instrumental in the Southern Knights’ inaugural season and his leadership qualities off the field have helped accelerate the development of some of our younger players. We all wish Fraser well in his new role at Gala, where we know he’ll be a huge asset.”

Head coach Rob Chrystie tweeted: “Outstanding in the club game for MelroseRugby and hugely influential for Southern Knights. Pleasure to play with and coach.”

l Richie Gray has joined former Scotland head coach Vern Cotter’s crew in charge of Fiji. Galashiels man Gray is teaming up with Cotter as specialist breakdown coach with the South Sea Islanders.

Gray’s help has been enlisted ahead of the special eight-team tournament in November and December, which is also set to feature Scotland.