GEORGE GRAHAM has stepped down as head coach at Hawick. The former Scotland prop, who was also an assistant coach of the national side in the mid 2000s, has been in charge at Mansfield Park since October 2017, during which time the team has reinvented itself from Premiership strugglers to genuine title challengers.
After a shaky spell during the first half of the 2019-20 season, Hawick won 10 games on the bounce to push themselves into the play-offs as the form team in the league, however the Coronavirus enforced shutdown of the Premiership deprived the Borderers of the opportunity to go for glory in the end of season shoot-out.
“The club are deeply grateful to George for the two and a half seasons spent coaching the club,” said a club statement. “He has overseen an improvement in results, personal developments and morale, with the highlights including the miraculous comeback from the drop, and the 12 premier and border league victories in a row this year.
“George intends to watch his sons play and we wish him well in his retirement, and look forward to welcoming him back to spectate, and for a few beers, as often as he can manage.”
Graham has indicated that he is not just calling time on Hawick, but is stepping back from active involvement in rugby after four decades at the pit-face.
“I feel now is the right time to retire from rugby after a 40 year career,” he said. “I’ve had quite a few highlights as a player but none quite so satisfying [as working with Hawick] as a coach. Working with the boys at Hawick has been enormously challenging but satisfying, and the fact that 90 percent of the team are born and bred in Hawick pays testament to the town.”