Shiel to take up academy post

FORMER Melrose centre Graham Shiel has been appointed Edinburgh Rugby's academy manager.

Shiel, who captained Edinburgh for two seasons, won 18 Scotland caps between 1991 and 2000 and since leaving professional rugby in 2003 has worked as a rugby development officer with both West Lothian and East Lothian councils.

Shiel told us this week: "Having stepped back from my playing days, I have been lucky to work as a development officer for the last three-and-a-half years. I have really enjoyed this, but I've always wanted to work with the players who are potentially the best in Scotland. I am delighted to be able to do this with Edinburgh, having captained and played with the club. I am looking forward to helping young players fulfil their potential and play professional rugby."

A stonemason by trade, Shiel starred for the Scottish Borders, Edinburgh Reivers and Edinburgh Rugby, captaining the last of those teams from 2000 to 2002. He played with Melrose over a 15-year period from 1988, winning five National Championship and five Border League titles. In 1992, he spent a season with the Australian club Manly and has played for the Barbarians seven times, being invited to captain them in the last of his appearances against a Border League XV at The Greenyards.

A ten-year Scotland career saw him involved in three Rugby World Cups, Five/Six Nations Championships as well as tours of Australia, Argentina, Spain, Canada and North America and three of New Zealand. He also represented Scotland at the Hong Kong Sevens in 1996.

Most recently, he has played with and coached Stewart's Melville FP, helping the club gain promotion to Premier One for the first time in 10 seasons.

Shiel will take up his new position on December 11.