Shake-up sees Heriot’s turn to former head coach Smith and Kelly

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Heriot’s are poised to shake up their coaching team after narrowly preserving a record of never having been out of Scottish rugby’s top club division.

The Evening News understands that Phil Smith will be returning to a head coach post he previously held, assisted by Edinburgh hooker Andy Kelly, who will have charge of the forwards.

Moving out are ex-Selkirk and Scotland back row Graham Marshall after one season in charge, as well as ex-B cap Mark Appleson, successful coach of the Edinburgh Academy team.

It will be the latest stop on a journey for Smith that has seen him assist Watsonians and, until recently, Boroughmuir.

When Smith decided to leave ‘Muir a few weeks ago the club announced: “Phil thought it was the right time for a change after three years with the club and is seeking a new challenge as a head coach with another club.”

For Kelly, this will be a first real break into coaching and he will be able to draw on well over 100 appearances for Edinburgh.

The A international hooker is out of contract in May – a month before his 30th birthday.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s opponents in Saturday’s Heineken European Cup semi-final at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, Ulster, are facing fitness checks today on three more players.

Half back Paul Marshall is already a concern and the Ravenhill side are also sweating over Chris Henry, Pedrie Wannenburg and Paddy Wallace.