Peter Wright has always had a soft spot for Boroughmuir having spent a decade with them as a player – and now he is relishing getting his teeth into the head coach role at Meggetland with the new season just around the corner.
The former Scotland prop, who toured with the British & Irish Lions in 1993, joined Muir as a player from his local club Lasswade back in 1986.
Boroughmuir had a good team back in those days and the highlight came in 1990/91 when they won the top flight title with Bruce Hay and Jim Aitken at the helm.
Wright was capped out of Boroughmuir – his first of 21 Scotland caps coming in 1992 against Australia in Sydney – and he remembers his time with them fondly.
Since he left the club to join Melrose in 1996 his career in rugby has taken him to a number of clubs in a coaching capacity, while he has also been Scotland under-20 head coach.
However, he has always been keen on a return to Boroughmuir and when the BT Premiership club parted company with head coach Bruce Aitchison a few months ago he applied for the role.
He was successful and in recent weeks he has been running the rule over his new squad in pre-season training at Sighthill.
“I have very fond memories of my time at Boroughmuir, I made some great friends and we played some really good rugby during those years,” the 48-year-old said.
“Bruce Hay was an absolute legend and someone who I learnt a lot from, while what always struck me about the club was that there were a lot of good people involved here.
“Whenever I have been back as a guest or in the opposing dugout I have always enjoyed catching up with the old faces and I hoped I would one day get the chance to return to Meggetland.
“In the past the timing has never been right, but with myself leaving Selkirk at the end of the last campaign and Boroughmuir looking for a new head coach things just seemed to fit this time.
“I feel as if I owe Boroughmuir a lot for what they did for me and my career – almost a bit of unfinished business, if you like – and myself and my fellow coaches have been pleased with the first few weeks of pre-season.”
As is the nature of club rugby, a number of the squad that earned a creditable fifth-place finish in the top flight in 2015/16 have moved away for various reasons, but a strong core still remains.
Wright has been pleased to get hooker James Bett in from his former club Selkirk given that Sean Crombie has moved to Watsonians and Cal Davies is in New Zealand.
On August 6 he will lead his new charges into a pre-season round robin tournament at their home ground before further hit-outs on the road against Howe of Fife and Edinburgh Accies on August 13 and 20 respectively.
They then begin the competitive season with an away match against Melrose on August 27 and Wright is confident his side will be ready for that test.
He said: “July can be a strange month because a lot of guys are away on holidays at various times, but we have had really good numbers down at training and if we can get everyone in the same place at the same time then I think there is going to be great competition for places this season.
“What has pleased me most so far in chatting to the guys – not just from the first XV, but guys who are likely to be in the seconds and such like – is the desire they have to play for Boroughmuir.
“They have a really good spirit and I think that will stand us in good stead when it comes to the last five minutes of matches and things are tight.
“The standard in the BT Premiership is good, but we will aim to be competitive and I am excited to see some of our young players get a chance at that level in the coming months.”
Wright will be assisted during 2016/17 by former Edinburgh Accies head coach Jonny Else, Paul Larter and Neil Wood.
Former Scotland cap Iain Paxton is also now on board as director of rugby and Wright said: “To have someone of Iain’s experience around the place is great and we are looking forward to working together.”