PETER WRIGHT’S retirement from coaching has proven short-lived with the irrepressible former prop unable to resist the opportunity to jump back into the saddle at the club where he started out on his rugby journey.
He will take charge of Lasswade men’s section next season – with overall responsibility for the development of senior men’s rugby – replacing the retiring Brian Hughes, as the Midlothian club look to consolidate their position then push-on for promotion from National League Two in the restructured (10 team) league format.
The 55-year-old was capped 21 times by Scotland between 1992 and 1996 (initially whilst playing out of Boroughmuir/Edinburgh then latterly with Border Reivers) and toured New Zealand with the Lions in 1993, before embarking on a coaching career which has involved stints with Murrayfield Wanderers, Glasgow Hawks, Scotland Under-20s, Selkirk, Peebles, Boroughmuir and most recently GHK. He is also a regular and often outspoken pundit with BBC Scotland.
“I’m so chuffed and excited to be coming back to the club where it all started for me,” said Wright. “Lasswade played a huge part in building my rugby career and I am looking forward to giving back to a group of talented young players. I’m also excited to be working alongside ex-team0mates Billy Knowles and Ian Barr, to drive Lasswade forward.”
Lasswade President Knowles added: “We are delighted to welcome Peter back to Lasswade after all he has achieved in rugby. It is fantastic to think that from starting his career here, progressing through our minis, school and 1st XV teams … the fact that he is returning to his old club, completing the circle, is excellent for both of us and grassroots rugby”.
Meanwhile, Barr is returning to active service on the frontline of the grassroots game after his spell as Vice-President and President of the Scottish Rugby Union, during which time he was a driving force behind the creation of the new governance structure for the game in this country. He will be Director of Rugby at Hawthornden overseeing the club’s rugby development programmes.
“I’m delighted to have been asked by the committee to resume this role and I am looking forward to be working with Peter, who brings a wealth of experience from his playing and coaching career, from grassroots club rugby right through to national age-grade team coaching,” said Barr. “I also hope to align all aspects of our rugby, ensuring growth and sustainability through our minis, school of rugby to senior men and women’s teams.”
The coaching merry-go-round has also been in action elsewhere, with Gala stalwart Craig Dods taking over the reigns in Netherdale, while Graeme Paterson returning to Peebles following his spell most recently coaching Musselburgh during their successful step up to the Premiership.
Paterson is taking on the role vacated by Iain Chisholm, who has been unveiled this morning as head coach as well as head of youth rugby at Melrose.
Meanwhile, Gavin Blackburn will coach Cambuslang in West League Two next season.