Borders College rugby lecturer and ex-Hawick boss Nikki Walker has been named by Scottish Rugby as attack coach in the Scotland U20s coaching team, ahead of the 2018 U20s Six Nations Championsip.
The 35 year old ex-Scotland international, with 24 caps to his name, has played professionally for the Ospreys, Worcester Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby sides, as well as enjoying a three-year stint more recently as head coach at Mansfield Park.
He is well placed to take on this new coaching position, having begun a two-year UKCC level 4 Coaching qualification at Edinburgh Napier University in 2016, which he is set to complete in May this year.
Nikki said of his selection:
“I am honoured to have been asked to have a hand in developing the next potential group of Scotland players.
“I am very excited to work with a very talented squad and carry on the excellent work that has been done with this age group in recent years.
I am also delighted to be working alongside Stevie Scott and Ben Fisher, who have been doing great work within the SRU developing players for many years now and look forward to coaching alongside them.”
Nikki was also grateful to his employer, Borders College, for understanding what an opportunity it was to coach Scotland U20s and showing a “massive amount of support” in allowing him time to immerse himself fully in the role.
Nikki has also been a driving force behind retaining a professional training presence for aspiring rugby players,following the disbandment of the region’s Border Reivers pro-team in 2007, through his involvement in the Borders College Rugby Programme and its partnership with the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy (Borders and East Lothian).
He will carry out his U20s coaching duties under head coach Stevie Scott and alongside defence coach Ben Fisher, balancing this with his position as rugby lecturer at the college.
Head of national age grade, Sean Lineen, said of the trio’s appointment: “Stevie Scott brings a wealth of experience to role of head coach. Ben Fisher has impressed mightily during the last two seasons, while Nikki Walker will bring his own brand of energy and innovation.”
The squad’s first match, a home fixture against France, will take place on February 9 at Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld. Borders College has wished the squad and its newly-appointed coaching team the best of luck for the upcoming championship.