McNeil makes Kelso switch as part of new coaching team

Hawick Rugby capitan, Bruce McNeil scoring a try

Hawick stalwart Bruce McNeil will move to Kelso in the summer, and join former Scotland centre Kevin Utterson and new Head Coach Darren Cunningham among a new-look coaching set-up at Poynder Park. 

Cunningham returns for a third stint in charge and replaces Kris de Scossa, whose side finished fourth bottom in Tennent’s National League Division 1, winning seven of their 20 matches before the Coronavirus lockdown saw the domestic season scrapped.

Cunningham, a former Jed-Forest and Hawick boss who served as Assistant Coach during Adam Roxburgh’s time in charge at Poynder Park, is looking forward to returning. 

Neil Hinnigan also re-joins the club as Director of Rugby after a period with Heriot’s. 

He said: “I am delighted to be back at my home club next season. 

“The three seasons I have spent at Heriot’s through the transition to Super6 has been invaluable experience and I would like to thank them for the opportunity and all the best for the season when it eventually happens.”

Three-times capped Scotland internationalist Kevin Utterson also returns to the club where his rugby career began, as Assistant Coach. 

Of his addition, Hinnigan added: “Kev is an old Kelso stalwart in his playing days and boasts a very good career CV. 

“He is a past captain of Kelso and we are delighted to have Kevin back.”

And the new Director of Rugby said Cunningham’s return was “much needed,” and said they hope to bring success to the “sleeping giant” club. 

McNeil’s brother Keith and Nicky Little have also made the move from Hawick to bring experience to a youthful Kelso side. 

Image caption Bruce McNeil will be a player/coach at Kelso next season. Image credit: Fotosport/David Gibson

And McNeil, who will take up a player/coach role at Poynder Park, is looking forward to making the switch from Hawick. 

The Scotland Club XV internationalist said: 

Wullie Mallen also thanked departing Head Coach de Scossa for his efforts. In a post on the club’s Facebook page this morning (Saturday), he said: “I would also like to thank Kris de Scossa, our departing Head Coach, for all that he has done this past season.

“Thank you Kris and we wish you all the very best in your next post.”

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