George Graham steps down as Hawick head coach

Former Scotland prop and assistant coach has indicated that he is taking a step back from active invovlement in rugby

George Graham always let his Hawick players know exactly what was on his mind. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
George Graham always let his Hawick players know exactly what was on his mind. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

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.


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“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.”


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1857 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

5 Comments

  1. Always a pleasure to interview George Graham. Win or lose he was always polite, objective and friendly after games. He was on the cusp of bringing Hawick back into the big time.
    I interviewed him after they started their 10 run win at Rubislaw. He predicted then it would be the start of a run. I can only hope he enjoys a good retirement, but wouldn’t bet against him making a return to the game he graced for so long.

  2. What a great innings. Huge input to the game as a whole.
    A straight shooting hard grafter.
    Many highlights on and off the pitch.
    I loved the one about the cub reporter in Carlisle interviewing him when his son Gary had made the England squad. Apparently the cub reporter’s vocabulary was enhanced somewhat.
    Wishing him a well earned enjoyable retirement.

  3. And let’s not forget, he turned the tide around at Gala when they were struggling. Great guy always welcome in the Borders

  4. Big hole to fill, great coach and has left Hawick in better place. Hope he enjoys his retirement but I’m sure he’ll be back at some point.

  5. Huge respect for this man and his ability to turn around Hawick when they were on their uppers. Tough act to follow

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