HERIOT’S have appointed former Scotland prop Bruce Douglas as forwards coach for the coming season. The 37-year-old, who was capped 43 times between 2002 and 2006, will fill the gap created by Stevie Lawrie’s departure to Watsonians.
Douglas is expected to form a three man coaching team alongside head coach Phil Smith and contact and conditioning specialist Jamie Parker.
“There was a bit of luck involved in the timing of this appointment. Bruce finished up at the Dragons two years ago and did a bit of coaching down there while he figured out what he wanted to do next with his life, before moving back to Edinburgh to take a job in finance in January,” explained Smith.
“He went to the school and he started his senior rugby career at the club so there is a real connection there. He was already getting back involved at Goldenacre as part of the business club we are trying to develop, but we knew he was keen to get involved in coaching as well, so when we found out Stevie was moving on it all fell into place perfectly.”
After a peripatetic playing career which took in spells at Heriot’s, Harlequins, Borders Reivers, Scarlets, Montpellier, Worcester Warriors, Bristol and Newport Gwent Dragons, Douglas finally hung up his boots in 2015 after a season as a player coach with Cardiff RFC who play in the semi-professional Principality Premiership. He also worked as a scrum guru for the Dragons on a part-time basis between 2014 and 2016.
“I think Bruce will bring a different dimension. He has been watching and analysing our games and spoken to me a lot about things he would like to change and things he would like to introduce, so it will really freshen things up for us,” said Smith.
“And I think it will be good for me as a coach, because somebody with a lot of experience and a different way of looking at things, so it will really challenge me.”
“We had those two really good years when we won the league then won the double, but eight key players moved on at the end of last season and this year was tough. We missed out on the play-offs and got knocked out the cup fairly early, but we’ve learned a lot and recruited well so we now have a group of guys who are really ready to step-up next season. I’m pretty excited looking ahead.”