HERIOT’S have promoted assistant coaches Stuart Edwards and Fin Gillies to joint head coach roles on a temporary basis for the upcoming Super6 Championship, which kicks off with a trip to Millbrae to take on the Ayrshire Bulls on Friday 5th August.
Edwards is a former stand-off who played for the franchise before segueing into coaching ahead of the Super6 Sprint earlier this year. He is Head of Rugby at Stewart’s Melville College.
Gillies, who played hooker for Glasgow Warriors before his career was cut-short by injury in his early 20s, became an assistant at Goldenacre for the inaugural Super6 campaign in 2019, having cut his coaching teeth with Glasgow Hawks in the Premiership. He is also Head of Rugby at the High School of Glasgow.
The pair – who are picking up the reins after Andrew Kelly left the head coach role by “mutual consent” in June following a couple of disappointing campaigns – will be assisted by Mark Sinclair (Strength & Conditioning). They will also be supported by the vastly experienced trio of Sean Lineen (Head of Rugby Development), Phil Smith (Blues Head Coach) and Robert McKillop (Blues 2nd XV Head Coach).
“We are fortunate to have two coaches of the calibre of Stuart and Fin who can lead the team into the Championship season,” said Heriot’s Director of Rugby Neil Meikle. “We are conducting a thorough search and recruitment process around our new head coach and expect to have someone in place towards the end of the year. In the meantime, we are looking forward to seeing how far this team can go with Stuart and Fin at the helm, and we are delighted with what we have seen so far.”
Edwards added: “I am excited about the opportunity and to be working with Fin. We are mates who have a similar philosophy of how the game should be played and we are comfortable challenging each other to get the best out of our coaching both individually and collectively. This club means a lot to both of us, and we are excited to work with the squad to produce performances that everyone at Heriot’s Rugby Club can be proud of. It’s been an incredibly busy time over the last couple of months, but we have worked hard to put ourselves in the best possible place for the Super6 Championship starting in August.”
Gilles said: “I am excited, if not a little nervous for the upcoming season. To be sharing this honour with Edo (Stuart Edwards) is not only a great opportunity for us individually but a huge responsibility that we feel privileged to take on. Edo and I have a good personal and working relationship and we see the game in the same way. We will work as hard as we possibly can to ensure that Heriot’s Super6 team performs to its absolute maximum potential. We know this will be a challenge and for as long as we are in the position of joint head coach we will give the players, the management, medical team, and everyone involved with the club everything we have.”