Murrayfield Wanderers ring changes after drop

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Murrayfield Wanderers have made some key appointments as they look to reinvigorate the club ahead of their 150th anniversary in three years’ time.

The new club was formed in 1997 after an amalgamation of Murrayfield RFC (1971) and Edinburgh Wanderers FC (1868). Following a difficult season in which the men’s first XV finished bottom of National League 3 and will play in East Division 1 next term, the club have been pro-active as they build towards the landmark year of 2018.

Former Edinburgh University, Hamilton and Linlithgow head coach Dale Lyon has joined in a new extended director of rugby post, with overall responsibility for coaching across the club.

Wanderers president Arnie Yule said: “It became clear when we met Dale that the whole club could benefit from his coaching experience. His primary focus will be working on the 1st XV alongside Arran Richards, but he will have an involvement right down to the mini section.”

Murray Hastie is also joining in the role of community development officer. Yule added: “Murray has a wealth of rugby experience and we are delighted to have him on board. His passion for the game and strong coaching ability will be invaluable in the role.”

Wanderers have also been active on the recruitment front, with a number of players already committing themselves for next season. Coach Richards said: “The response has been fantastic. There will be a mixture of new faces and some more familiar ones including a number of ex-players who want to come back and support the club. Wanderers has always had a reputation for welcoming new members, and with three senior XVs next season we are actively recruiting at all levels.”

Wanderers has the oldest junior section in Scotland, with several recent internationals such as Mike Blair and Ross Rennie starting their rugby on the back pitches at Murrayfield. This season will mark the 40th anniversary of the mini-section and there are a number of events in the pipeline. A new position of director of youth rugby has been created and Gavin McRae, who played for the club in the 1990s, is re-joining to take up the role.

The women’s section is in robust health and, having won the League and Cup double and the Under-18 Scottish Cup, Wandies Ladies were recently named BT Women’s Team of the Year.

Off the pitch, 150 people attended a dinner to mark the 25th anniversary of winning the old Second Division.