WATSONIANS head coach Steve Lawrie is in discussions with Edinburgh about becoming assistant forwards coach at the capital pro club next season. He will take over from Roddy Grant, who is understood to have accepted a role with Ulster.
Lawrie was unveiled last month as head coach of the Watsonians Super 6 franchise but could now be moving on before the new league is launched this coming Autumn.
A statement issued by Watsonians said –
“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 at Sonians 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. The move also illustrates how closely the Super 6 sides will be working with the fully professional teams and how the new Super 6 structure will provide a seamless pathway for talented players and coaches to progress to higher levels of performance.
Lawrie’s no-nonsense approach to the game would appear to make him a perfect fit for Edinburgh under Richard Cockerill. Like the dogmatic Englishman, his playing background was in the middle of the front-row, representing Edinburgh, Doncaster Knights and Scotland [capped once against Samoa in the summer of 2013]. He started his senior coaching career under Phil Smith at Heriot’s and was involved in their back-to-back Premiership wins in 2015 and 2016, before moving across the capital at the start of last season to take-on the head coach role at Watsonians, leading them to Premiership and Cup semi-finals during his first campaign in charge.
Grant’s move to Ulster links him up with former Edinburgh managing director Jonny Petrie and former Scotland forwards coach Dan McFarland.
A spokesman from the Scottish Rugby Union said –
“We have been in close dialogue with Watsonian FC 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 Watsonian FC 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.”