Alan Tait unveiled as new Southern Knights head coach

Former Scotland and Lions centre will be assisted by Scott Wight and Lewis Carmichael

Alan Tait
Alan Tait has been the Southern Knights' head coach since January. Image: ©Craig Watson -

FORMER Scotland and Lions centre Alan Tait has been unveiled as the new head coach of the Southern Knights Super6 team, starting with immediate effect.

The 58-year-old previously had two stints as defence coach of the Scotland national team during the 2000s, then filled the same role with the Border Reivers and Newcastle Falcons, followed by a spell as head coach at Falcons between 2009 and 2012.

More recently he has worked with Scottish Rugby’s SQ programme which seeks to identify and recruit talent from across the UK and beyond.

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He initially joined the Knights set-up as a defence coach last summer, and will now be assisted during the upcoming Super6 Sprint series by two former Melrose players who went on to play professionally in Scott Wight (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland 7s) overseeing the backs and Lewis Carmichael (Edinburgh and Scotland) in charge of the forwards.

“It’s a great honour to be given the chance to head up the Southern Knights Super6 programme and work with two young, exciting and enthusiastic coaches in Lewis Carmichael and Scott Wight,” said Tait.

“We are looking to build an exciting squad and looking forward to working with young and experienced players that want the opportunity to play rugby at the highest level in Scotland outside the pro-game.  We can hopefully inspire players from the region, and wider a-field, to play in a fantastic competition and support them in reaching their full rugby potential in.”

Tait, who came through the ranks in his native Kelso, scored 18 tries in 27 caps for Scotland between 1987 and 1999, with those international appearances sandwiching a highly successful period in Rugby League with Widnes, Leeds and Great Britain.

After returning to the 15-man code, a career highlight came in 1997 when he played on the wing in the first two winning Tests of the British and Irish Lions’ iconic series victory over South Africa.

Southern Knights Director of Rugby, Rob Moffat, said: “We are pleased to announce Alan Tait as Head Coach this week and believe he is heading up an extremely exciting coaching team and playing programme.

“Alan brings a lot of experience, enthusiasm and energy and is undoubtedly passionate about developing players and coaches. We look forward to working with Alan and are excited to see what the season brings”.

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About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Hope the SK’s have managed to recruit some quality players to bolster a weakened squad from last season.
    The word legend is overused in sporting circles, but it is totally appropriate for Alan Tait.
    Good luck Taity.

  2. Maybe a decent enough player in his day but not sure I understand the rationale of securing a head coach that has not been in a coaching position for over 10 years other than assisting in some form with the Knights last year. Personally I would have had Scott Wight as lead coach but going with Tait is undoubtedly a strategy to provide the suggestion of a degree of separation between the Knights and the Melrose club and reduce some of the baggage and personality issues that have plagued player recruitment and retention over the past years.
    I think it’s naive to think that this clumsy attempt will coerce the other Borders clubs into buying into the Knights concept.
    Given the suggestion of a future further S6 franchise consisting of essentially the Scotland U20 squad , it will be interesting to see how the Knights fare in player recruitment for next season , particularly if the Borders clubs / players apathy to the process remains unchanged….

    • The first eight words caused me not to doubt your judgement I’m afraid so I didn’t bother with the rest of your post.

  3. Good luck to all 3. I, for one, look forward to seeing them develop both coaching and the team. I only hope they are afforded adequate support, both financially and in recruitment, as, despite the naysayers, the Super 6 still has the potential to fill the void between the club and professional games. Providing it is governed correctly of course…hmm!

    • Until the Premier are amateur S6 will not work. Each club only has one or two players capable of being a pro the other good players stay where they are.

      • Why would undermining club rugby make S6 any better?? If a club can afford to pay players and coaches it should allowed to. That’s how standards rise across the board….unless we are worried that clubs will show up S6 for the plastic franchise it is! Plenty of community clubs bring in far far bigger crowds even when S6 was giving away tickets for free. Far better to bring in promotion and relegation and introduce some real jeopardy rather than consequence free rugby and players turning out for more than one of the teams each season.

  4. A great appointment, I reckon Pigeon could be the man to get the Kinghts galloping. He also has two young assistants, who are more of the players’ age, which is a good thing.


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