Melrose man MacRae to coach Scotland 7s

Former Melrose player Calum MacRae will head up the Scotland 7s coaching set up next season
Former Melrose player Calum MacRae will head up the Scotland 7s coaching set up next season

Former Greenyards man Calum MacRae is to head up the coaching team for the Scotland 7s squad in the coming season.

The former Melrose, Border Reivers and Edinburgh Rugby player makes the move from Newcastle Falcons where he has been skills coach for the past three seasons.

MacRae, who hails from the hometown of rugby sevens and has also played in the Scotland A and Scotland 7s teams, said: “I have always said if a coaching opportunity arose in Scotland I would look to be considered.

“The time frame for this offer fell in line and it couldn’t have been better for my coaching career.

“Having played sevens I know the unique environment it represents at the top level and how important it is for developing players. I’m looking forward to working with a talented group of individuals, to produce world-class sevens and, ultimately, XVs performers.

“Melrose is my home town so it’s a huge honour for me and my family to coach the short game at the highest level. I have a huge amount of love and passion for the game and I know that I will transfer that into the performances of the players I’ll be working with.”

MacRae will begin coaching Scotland 7s with a similar squad to previous years with a series of signings and contract extensions announced last week.

MacRae played professionally for the Border Reivers between 2002 and 2007 before heading north to the capital where he played for Edinburgh Rugby until 2009. After this he had short stints with Worcester Warriors and Venezia Mestre, in Italy, at which point he was approached by Alan Tait to join Falcons.

He has also represented Scotland at under-19, under-21, 7s and A level; with 13 caps in the latter two teams. Though not winning full honours, Frank Hadden included him in his extended squad between 2006 and 2008 for all Autumn Tests and RBS 6 Nations campaigns and the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

MacRae last played for Scotland 7s in Hong Kong and Adelaide in 2009 and was also a member of the squad that competed in the 2005 Rugby World Cup 7s in Hong Kong. He scored 115 points for the abbreviated national team, comprising of nine tries and 35 conversions.

Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson, said: “I’m delighted that Calum has agreed to return to Scotland to lead Scotland 7s in the new chapter that will follow this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“Calum is a Melrose man and therefore has a wealth of experience and huge passion for sevens rugby, which he has played at the highest level for his country.

“I have no doubt he will use this understanding and the knowledge that he has garnered in the Aviva Premiership, where he has cut his teeth as a coach, to lead and influence the Scotland 7s team going forward.

“Having only hung up his playing boots four years ago, Calum is a young and exciting coach who I look forward to seeing grow in this role and I wish him all the very best.”

Following this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, current head coach Stephen Gemmell will return to his position as Scottish Rugby’s head of performance development.

Scotland 7s’ 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series campaign will begin on Saturday 11 October on the Gold Coast and will return to Scotstoun Stadium for the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May 2015.

This will be the last season the IRB circuit will follow its current nine-tournament rotation.