ROBERT CHRYSTIE will move on from his role as head coach with Super6 side Southern Knights at the end of this month, to become Edinburgh Rugby Academy coach.
In his new appointment he will have overall responsibility in developing the 15 FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy players who are aligned to Edinburgh Rugby. An announcement on the Glasgow Warriors Academy Coach will be made in due course.
Chrystie led Southern Knights during the abandoned inaugural 2019-20 Super6 season, and in their run to the 2021 tournament’s Final. The Knights are currently receiving applications for his replacement as head coach.
The former scrum-half played for his native Hawick, Melrose, Bath, Coventry, the Border Reivers and Scotland A, before starting his coaching career at Melrose nine years ago as an assistant to Craig Chalmers then to John Dalziel. He took on the top role at The Greenyards himself in 2016, had two seasons as head coach of the Scotland Club XV between 2017 and 2019, and was a skills coach to Scotland U20 in their preparations for last summer’s Six Nations campaign.
“I’m delighted to be taking up the Academy coaching position at Edinburgh Rugby,” said Chrystie. “To have the opportunity to help shape and develop young players who are keen to learn their trade is something I’m passionate about.
“This has not been an easy decision to leave The Greenyards as I’ve loved my time with both Melrose Rugby and Southern Knights. I want to take this opportunity to thank Mike Dalgetty who has helped me endlessly and all the supporters for their amazing backing over these last nine years.
“I feel privileged to have worked with a great group of players during my time at Melrose and Southern Knights and I can’t thank them enough for all their time and effort.
“Opportunities like this only come around occasionally and I feel that for both my career and my family this is the right move at this stage in my coaching journey.”
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Edinburgh Rugby head coach Mike Blair added: “Rob is a fantastic coach with a great track record of developing and nurturing young Scottish players. He’ll be a welcome addition to our coaching group and adds another dynamic to what is an already talented off-field team.
“Rob’s experience with Melrose, Southern Knights and several Scotland age-grade sides will be invaluable as he works with the next generation of Edinburgh Rugby players.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming to Rob to the club and I’m sure he’ll hit the ground running once in post.”
Southern Knights Chairman Dominic Taddei said: “We have real mixed feelings that our head coach is to join Edinburgh Rugby. On the one hand we are delighted that Rob’s fantastic coaching talent is being recognised and he will be able to further his career within Scottish Rugby, which is exactly what the FOSROC Super6 is aiming to achieve for both players and performance coaching staff.
“At the same time, we are disappointed to be losing such a great coach. We are extremely grateful for everything Rob has done for both Southern Knights and Melrose Rugby over the last nine years and wish him the very best for the next stage in his coaching career.
Taddei added: “We will now begin the process of seeking Rob’s successor and look forward to identifying the best coach to build upon the strong foundations laid by him.”