FORMER Glasgow Warriors and Scotland full-back Peter Murchie has been appointed as Ayr’s next head coach, taking over from Calum Forrester at the end of the season.
Murchie returned to Scotland from Stade Nicois in France at the start of January after being forced to retire from playing on medical grounds with immediate effect, and the Scottish Rugby Union stated at that time that he would be getting involved in the organisations coaching development programmes.
“It’s been my plan to coach for the past five or six years and I’ve got my coaching degree and Level 3 now so I’ve done lots of preparation and it is time to throw myself into that and look forward to staying in the game in a different capacity,” said Murchie immediately after his retirement.
Murchie was an assistant coach with National League Division Two side GHK during the 2016-17 season, and has been helping out at Ayr in recent weeks before being officially confirmed as Forrester’s successor this afternoon [Wednesday].
The 32-year-old is also currently working with the Scotland Under-20s squad, assisting head coach Stevie Scott with orchestrating the team’s attack, having answered an SOS call after assistant coaches Nikki Walker and Ben Fisher were suspended by the SRU following a late-night incident in Wales before the team’s opening Six Nations match three weeks ago.
Murchie was born in Carlisle but qualified to play for Scotland through his Ayr-born father. He signed for Glasgow Warriors in 2009 and played 116 games for the club – captaining the side during the 2015 World Cup window – before moving to France as a player-coach last summer.
Ayr currently sit fourth in the BT Premiership with one game left in the regular campaign, and are well positioned to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs, but if they are to repeat last season’s feat of lifting the championship trophy at the end of April then it is likely that they will have to do it the hard-way by playing away matches in both the semi-final and the Grand Final.