Bruce Ruthven leaves Southern Knights by mutual consent

Replacement to be announced in due course

Bruce Ruthven has left the head coach role at Southern Knight my mutual consent.
Bruce Ruthven has left the head coach role at Southern Knight my mutual consent.

BRUCE RUTHVEN has left his position as head coach of Southern Knight Super6 franchise by mutual consent, less than year after his appointment to the role as replacement to Rob Chrystie. The Knights finished fifth at the end of the league leg of this year’s Super6 Championship, just ahead of Stirling Wolves. The recruitment process  for a replacement is now underway with an announcement to be made in due course.

“The club would like to thank Bruce for all his hard work and dedication during the course of the programme and wish him well for the future,” said a statement by the club.

Southern Knights Director of Rugby, Rob Moffat said: “The club thanks Bruce for his commitment and efforts with the Knights this season. There were very difficult circumstances and situations over the season which Bruce met and faced with real determination. We wish Bruce every success in the future”.

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Ruthven then issued a statement to Stuart Cameron, a journalist and broadcaster in the Borders.

“Ultimately there are a lot of constraints within the role which make it difficult to do the necessary work and a lot of unknowns about how the S6 is shaping up for next season,” he said. “I have some good opportunities in the near future so going to explore them.”

“I have enjoyed my time with the Knights. Everyone involved has worked very hard to establish a good platform for the players to showcase their talent and in particular the young players which have formed a large part of the squad have performed well and I’m sure will be in contention for international honour with full-time pro contracts on the horizon.”

In response, Moffat also spoke to Cameron. “It’s just one of these things,” he said. “We just spoke to Bruce and it came to that agreement. It was just time for a change, time for Bruce to move on, and time for us to do something different.”

“What we’re thinking is ahead to next year and how we can go better. What we can control is getting the best squad and best support group around it about the players to help us move on, but we are very appreciative of what Bruce has done. He worked very hard.

“Every body knows that sport in general is not easy in general, and there isa lot of moving parts when it comes to Super6, It is not easy.

Asked about the future of Super6 and the prospect of cross-border competition being established in the future, Moffat replied: “I certainly hope so. The glass is definitely half full with me. What we are about is giving youngsters a chance to play at higher level, and that is what Super6 does at the moment and that is what Bruce has done over the last nine months.If people look at the record, there has a lot of young people been given a chance.

“This has just bappened yesterday [Tuesday]. What well do now is talk to the rest of the coaches and move on from there, and try to pout the best coaching group we can together. We’ll obviously talk to Alan Tait, Lewis Carmichael and Ross Ford, who are there just now and we’ll make a decision on what we think is best to move forward. But it is a bit early, we want to talk to these guys as well, it will come as a shock to them so we have to speak to them before we do anything else.

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About David Barnes 4012 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. With An unwillingness to retain players and use those recommended within the pathway system when added to an apparent inability to recruit others perhaps its no surprise there are constraints and uncertainty when trying to operate.
    I must admit Not all constraints are self imposed. It can’t be right that if a young man wants to earn income from playing rugby. He can be banned from changing employers. If they leave s6 and go back to a premiership team they get banned for 12 months for then taking up an new s6 offer. I think it’s called restriction of trade..If the ,Premiership was amateur there’s a decent arguement for that but it’s not. To costly to be challenged in court but it should be

  2. “Ultimately there are a lot of constraints within the role which make it difficult to do the necessary work and a lot of unknowns about how the S6 is shaping up for next season,”

    A very telling comment. There are obvious issues at Melrose with regard to S6.

    And S6 isn’t a franchise. It’s a license. Franchises have very specific regulation and legislation which apply. None of which fit how these entities have been formed under. A pedantic point but accurate.

    • Yep – so many uncertainties surround S6 going forward. One wonders just how long the jury must remain out in all of this!

      Together with potential to expose players to higher-intensity rugby is the equal potential of S6 to wreak havoc among the anointed (licensed / franchisee) clubs and cause a fair amount of personal damage to individuals along the way.

    • Ruthven was absolutely fuming about the recent decision not to play the Ayrshire Bulls home game and instead count the away game as a double-header. I would suspect this “Mickey Mouse” decision helped convince him to pursue the other opportunities he mentioned rather than spend any more time on the farce that is Super Six and who could blame him?


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