Ruthven returns to Melrose and takes Head Coach role

Bruce Ruthven is the Melrose rugby coach

Bruce Ruthven will return to Melrose after being appointed the club’s new Head Coach. 

Ruthven led Watsonians in 2019/20 but will return to the Greenyards and take over from Stuart Johnson as Head Coach of the 1st XV. 

He is no stranger to the Greenyards having appeared for the 1st XV side 196 times, with two seasons as Captain. I

n addition to his illustrious playing career, Bruce has coached all age-grade and Scotland development squads and is currently Rugby Coordinator at Erskine Stewart Melville College.

Commenting on his appointment, one of Melrose’s two Directors of Rugby, Rob Moffat said: “Bruce’s rugby leadership and development credentials are second-to-none. We’re so happy to have him on board to spearhead the new coaching team. 

“He is a local lad with a really impressive CV, a great deal of passion and an energy that we know will be contagious and inspirational. We can’t wait for him to get stuck in and start getting the very best out of our talented and enthusiastic pool of players. 

“I’m really looking forward to working closely with him and assisting with coaching.”

Ruthven will be supported by “an exceptionally strong and capable support team” who are all “raring to go and all share in his desire to create a progressive, encouraging, and motivational rugby environment,” said a statement from the club today (Tuesday). 

The new backroom staff includes Gordon Smith, who worked as Forwards Coach under Ruthven at Watsonians; Melrose stalwarts Graeme Dodds and Dougie Dodds; and Bert Grigg. 

Of Graeme Dodds’ appointment, Colin Meager, joint Director of Rugby, said: “We’re really excited that Graeme is re-joining the Melrose ranks as a coach.

“He’s someone all young players with ambition can relate to and aspire to be like. His enthusiasm and experience will be a great benefit to us all as we look to strengthen the developmental stepping-stone opportunities that he has proved worked so well for him.”“He’s someone all young players with ambition can relate to and aspire to be like. His enthusiasm and experience will be a great benefit to us all as we look to strengthen the developmental stepping-stone opportunities that he has proved worked so well for him.”

Grigg, meanwhile, is UKCC Level 3 coach and the current SRU Rugby Development Officer for Berwickshire, responsible for developing coaches in the area through interactive sessions and mentoring. 

As well as his impressive coaching experience, Bert is also part of the SRU Performance Pathway from U14s to U20s within the FOSROC Borders and East Lothian Academy. 

Image caption: Bruce Ruthven will take over as Melrose 1st XV Head Coach for 2020/21 season having led Watsonians this season. Image credit: Graham Gaw/Watsonians

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