Super 6 head coaches announced and license agreements signed

Ben Cairns, Stevie Lawrie, Peter Murchie, Rob Chrystie, Ciaran Beattie and Graham Shiel to take charge of teams in the new league

Ben Cairns
Currie Chieftains head coach Ben Cairns will move to Stilring County in January. Image: © Craig Watson -

THE identity of the head coaches of each of the clubs which will compete in the SRU’s Super 6 league next season has been confirmed, along with conformation that the license agreements between those clubs and the governing body have been signed.

The six coaches are –

Ayr: Peter Murchie

Boroughmuir: Graham Shiel

Heriot’s: Ciaran Beattie

Melrose: Rob Chrystie

Stirling County: Ben Cairns

Watsonians: Stevie Lawrie

A statement issued by the Scottish Rugby Union this afternoon stated that: “The head coaches have been interviewed, recruited and will be employed directly by each individual club. Scottish Rugby was involved in an advisory and oversight capacity, with the final decision on whom to recruit being decided by each club.”

The coaches will start in post from January 2019 and begin recruiting back-room staff and playing squads alongside the on-field rugby preparations for the inaugural campaign, which begins next season. This is certain to spark a furious backlash from Currie Chieftains, who are still reeling after missing out on selection for this new league, and must now finish a season in which they are well in contention for the play-offs without Cairns, who has been their head coach for the last four and a half years.

Four of the six coaches – Cairns, Murchie, Lawrie and Shiel – earned senior international honours for the Scotland national team, while Beattie and Chrystie represented Scotland 7s and Scotland A.

“Super 6 aims to narrow the gap between the professional, elite level and the top tier of Scotland’s domestic set-up, both from a playing and coaching perspective,” said the SRU’s Head of Academies, Sean Lineen, who has been given on-field responsibility for Super 6.

“The appointment of six, full-time Scottish coaches is a critical part of that process. It rewards the coaches for investing their time in the game and creates a meaningful pathway to the elite level of the sport.

“Coaching is an incredibly important pillar which is driving the objective of improving rugby in Scotland through the Super 6 process.”

License agreements

Scottish Rugby and the six teams have signed the tournament licence agreements which covers the commercial rights, liabilities, licencing and operating standards, facilities and rugby provision for the competition, which will run initially for five years, starting in season 2019-20.

The agreements outline the obligations and rights of all parties and the funding models which will enable the new competition to progress. They are based on the Franchise Information documents released in November 2017, apparently excluding those elements currently forming part of the ongoing consultation with clubs as overseen by Scottish Rugby Council’s Standing Committee on Governance, under its Independent Chair, Gavin MacColl QC.

“The signing of the Licence Agreements is a significant step in the progress of Super 6. We have worked closely with the six respective clubs, listened and collaborated together, to ensure the scope of the agreements works for all parties,” said Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, in the statement.

“We now have a clear framework to use going forward which enables both ourselves and the participating clubs to continue the work we have been undertaking to progress the Super 6 model and all the necessary elements which go into building an exciting new competition and level of rugby in Scotland.”

“We have an on-going objective to improve the depth of coaching in Scotland at all levels. The Super 6 provides a unique, full-time opportunity for this exciting group of coaches to continue their development and make a significant contribution to improving rugby at this level. I’d like to congratulate the group and wish all them well in their new roles,” he added.

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About David Barnes 3906 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he 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 Comment

  1. Interestingly no details on the competition and the day it will be played on.

    Best wishes to the coaches. A big step up to FT coaching but all got good pedigree

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