As the excitement builds towards the FOSROC Super6 launch weekend and the Bears first match at home to Stirling County on Friday 8th November, the squad are being put through their paces lead by Head Coach Graham Shiel, and his newly appointed support team.
• Graham Shiel – Head Coach
Graham has been involved in Scottish Rugby as a player and Coach at the highest level for over 30 years. After retiring from playing Graham pursued a career in rugby development, before working in academies along with a spell in the national sevens programme where he acted as head coach with both the male and female programmes. Graham has also worked as a national age grade coach involvedwith coaching roles at U19, & U16 levels.
• Paul Larter – Assistant Coach (attack at source)
Under Paul, Boroughmuir had one of the best line outs in the Premier 1 competition in season 2018/2019. Paul has been with Boroughmuir for the last four and a half seasons as forwards/defence coach and is the former Head Analyst at Edinburgh Rugby.
• Davey Wilson – Assistant Coach (attack without the ball)
Davey has a wealth of experience working as Head of Sport at Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow, alongside previous coaching responsibilities including Premiership Head Coach roles with GHA, Glasgow Hawks and most recently assisting Biggar with promotion to National 1. He is also currently involved with Scotland national age grade at U18, having also been involved with coaching roles at U19, U17 and U16 Levels.
• Chris Laidlaw – Assistant Coach
Chris has recently taken up the role of Performance Academy Manager with Boroughmuir Rugby and Community Sports Club, which sees him also having a dual role in the Super6 programme. Chris has been involved in regional age grade programmes and last season stepped up to a role with Scotland national U18’s.
• Peter Blackhall – Manager
Peter has been involved with Boroughmuir for 25 years starting as a Youth Section coach. Peter then became Youth Section Secretary, Assistant Club Secretary, Club Secretary and became Rugby Director acting on the Board for 8 years. Peter also represented Boroughmuir on the Premiership forum, chairing it for 2 years and has also sat on the Performance Forum within Scottish Rugby. In recent years Peter has been the Rugby Manager involved with the administration and player welfare of the 1st XV squad.
• Raymond James – Strength & Conditioning
Raymond, a UKSCA accredited S&C coach, has worked for many years within the national age grade programmes and regional academy programmes.
• Carley Cowell – Medical Lead / Physiotherapist
Carley Cowell has been with Boroughmuir for 10 years and has been involved with national age grade teams.
• Karen Barclay - Club Doctor
Karen is an experienced doctor who has worked in Paediatrics for numerous years and more recently in Sports Medicine. She has been involved with rugby in Scotland for many years, both at Club level with Currie, and within Scottish Rugby supporting male and female national age grade programmes. Karen has also supported the medical staff on matchdays at both Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as at full Internationals for both men’s and women’s national teams. In addition to her role at Boroughmuir, she works in other sports such as football and athletics and works occasional sessions for the Scottish Institute of Sport. She also is a medical educator and trainer for both the SRU and World Rugby delivering first aid courses for coaches and parents as well as advanced pitch side care for those involved in high level sport.
• Nick Mardon – Mental Skills Coach
Nick is an ex Boroughmuir player with professional rugby union and rugby league experience and is supporting the Super 6 squad as Mental Skills Coach. He is a British Association of Sport & Exercise Scientists (BASES) accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist,specialising in Sport Psychology.
Of the challenge ahead, Graham said ‘In its Centenary year, I am delighted to have been afforded the opportunity to lead the Boroughmuir Bears Super 6 programme and as we enter a new century, I hope that this is the beginning of a very successful period for the club both on and off the field of play. Having achieved Super 6 status, Boroughmuir must build strong foundations around the youth academy to achieve a sustainable future and a clear pathway for young players at Boroughmuir to aspire to play their rugby. It is a hugely exciting and challenging time for the club and all players and staff are looking forward to testing themselves against the other Super 6 franchises over the coming season ahead of what is certain to be a very challenging cross border campaign’.
The club has also recently appointed a Director of Rugby, Robbie McKenzie who will also be a key support to Graham, and senior rugby more widely as Boroughmuir. Robbie has been involved with Boroughmuir Rugby since 1993. Upon turning 18 he moved from his local club (Currie RFC) to Boroughmuir, his father’s club. His father Eric McKenzie represented Boroughmuir 1st XV from 1965 to 1974, and subsequently held a number of volunteer positions within the club. Robbie has represented the 1st XV and 1st VII at the club and acknowledges the role it played in him ‘growing up’.
Robbie said ‘I am delighted to be back at Boroughmuir and I’m very excited to be involved in this exciting stage in our evolution. FOSROC Super6 rugby is something new for all of us and it’s genuinely energising to see a group of volunteers pull together to deliver this new format. Having watched the work being put in by the coaches, support team and players, I can’t wait to see them put some performances together!’