Premiership coaching line-ups take shape

Kelso have announced that Nikki Walker will co-coach Kelso next season, while Davey Wilson takes over at Watsonians

Nikki Walker has been announced as a co-coach at Kelso next season. Image: © Craig Watson -
Nikki Walker has been announced as a co-coach at Kelso next season. Image: © Craig Watson -

AS the start of June looms over the horizon, a number of Premiership clubs have recently moved decisively in assembling their coaching line-ups for next season.

Earlier today [Tuesday], Kelso announced that former Hawick, Border Reivers, Ospreys and Scotland winger Nikki Walker (currently an assistant coach at Watsonians in Super Series) will replace Kevin Utterson as co-head coach at Poynder Park next season, working alongside Bruce McNeil, who has stated that he is committed to at least one more year as a player-coach.

Meanwhile, the highly experienced Davey Wilson will take over the Watsonians Club XV on their return to the top flight of the club game, having most recently assisted Graham Shiel at Boroughmuir Bears in Super Series. Further details on the coaching team at Myreside will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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Melrose announced a fortnight ago that current head coach Iain Chisholm will link up with Scott Wight in co-coaching partnership, once the former Scotland 7s captain has finished up as unofficial head coach of Southern Knight in the ongoing Super Series Sprint.

Meanwhile, newly-promoted Ayr will carry on with Grant Anderson as head coach, and the Millbrae club are hopeful that current Ayrshire Bulls head coach Pat MacArthur will stay actively involved in an assistant role.

Musselburgh have added former Edinburgh centre George Taylor to an already extensive coaching team at Stoneyhill. He will join Edinburgh prop Robin Hislop, Andrew Clarke, Callum Gauld and Michael Badenhorst (in a player-coach capacity) working under Derek O’Riordan.

An update from last season’s Cup winners and Premiership runners-up Hawick is expected in the next few weeks, after they finished last season with Graham Hogg as an interim head coach, assisted by Roddy Deans and Scott MacLeod.

Chris Martin has moved on as an assistant coach at Edinburgh Accies with head coach Iain Berthinussen planning to pick up the slack with a more hands-on role next season.

It is same again at Fullarton, with Kenny Diffenthal assisted by Stephen Adair staying on in the hot-seats for Marr; and at Balgray where Andy Hill will once again frontthe Glasgow Hawks coaching team.

Champions Currie Chieftains, Heriot’s and Selkirk have yet to provide upates on their coaching line-ups for next season.

After a tough 2023-24 season, Jed-Forest will hope to steady the ship after relegation with the experienced Stuart Johnson – who has previously had spells coaching at Melrose, Hawick and Gala – as their new head coach, assisted by Ryan Ormiston, who has recently returned to the Borders after working and coaching in Australia, and with recently retired people Paulo Ferreira taking over as Director of Rugby.


Can the Kings of the Sevens concept survive and even flourish in the future?

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. Wiz disappointing no tae see Craig Redpath back as heid coach of Marr. Mare disappointed cause a threw a few quid in tae Troon duck pond making a wish fir him tae come back. Ah wiell another season of pick her mates ignore the weans!

    It’s a shame tae cause Troon old folks hame wiz hoping tae get a few of the old guard as residents cause numbers are low at the bingo on a Wednesday.

  2. Wonder where Ben Cairns and Fraser Brown will land in coaching roles next season?
    Brown is obviously earmarked for quick promotion (like Pete Horne before him) with his appointment to Super Series Watsons for the Sprint, but what will be the logical next step?

    As for Cairns – one of only two people who have coached all the way through super series (with Graham Shiel). Will Heriots move aside the excellent Phil Smith to incorporate him in their coaching set up? Will he join his brother Mark at Currie?



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