Watsonians’ Steve Lawrie set to join Edinburgh and replace Ulster-bound coach

Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie
Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie
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Watsonians could be searching for a new Super 6 head coach before the competition starts next season with former Scotland hooker Steve Lawrie set to replace Roddy Grant as assistant forwards coach at Edinburgh.

Lawrie was one of the six head coaches announced last month for the SRU’s new part-time professional club league, which also includes Melrose, Ayr, Stirling County, Boroughmuir and Heriot’s.

Roddy Grant is on his way to Ulster

Roddy Grant is on his way to Ulster

Watsonians have confirmed Lawrie is in talks to replace former Scotland Sevens star Grant, who is poised for a move to a role with Ulster, where former Edinburgh managing director Jon Petrie took over as CEO at the start of the year.

The Evening News also understands that Scotland Sevens coach John Dalziel is the leading contender to become Glasgow forwards coach upon the departure of Jonathan Humphreys, who is leaving to be part of the post-Warren Gatland Wales management team.

Former Edinburgh flanker Grant, 31, was forced to retire with a knee injury in December 2015 and since took on coaching roles with the academy and then as assistant forwards coach at the capital pro-team under Richard Cockerill. With the Super 6 set to start in just eight months, Watsonians said in a statement: “We can confirm that Steve Lawrie, who was appointed head coach of our Super 6 franchise, has been in discussions with Edinburgh Rugby to become an assistant forwards coach. We would stress, however, that no final decision has been made at this juncture.

“Steve has made a huge impact since his appointment two years ago and we will be extremely sorry to lose him if he does move to Edinburgh. However, Steve is a very talented and ambitious young coach and the role provides a great opportunity for him to develop his career. Therefore, we are fully supportive of Steve progressing these discussions and, if he does leave, it will be with our wholehearted support and best wishes.

“We have worked closely with Scottish Rugby on this matter to ensure that the disruption to our Super 6 preparations are minimised. We believe that this would be a great move for Scottish Rugby as a Steve is a very capable coach who can help Edinburgh Rugby continue their impressive improvement under Richard Cockerill.”

An SRU statement said: “We have been in close dialogue with Watsonians throughout this process. Steve has been identified on his own merits as someone who can make the progression now into the professional game with Edinburgh and the chance to join that coaching group, led by Richard Cockerill, could provide a fantastic opportunity for him. We have been mindful to support Watsonians in their plans for Super 6 and will continue to work closely with the club should they progress to appoint a new head coach for the start of the competition.”