Lawrie steps up to Forwards Coach
Edinburgh Rugby can today confirm that Stevie Lawrie has stepped up to the role of Forwards Coach on a permanent basis.
The former Edinburgh hooker and Scotland internationalist was originally brought in as Assistant Forwards Coach in 2019 – having been Head Coach at Watsonians RFC – but now advances to Forwards Coach in a new full-time role.
Lawrie has impressed in driving the forward pack so far this season, with his set-piece expertise leading to Edinburgh’s lineout operating at the highest percentage of success in the United Rugby Championship.
Lawrie said: “I’m absolutely delighted to take on the role full-time and I’ve been fortunate to have so much experience in the squad to draw on which has made the step up feel seamless.
“I was given the opportunity to work in the Assistant Forwards Coach role by Richard Cockerill and learning from his expertise in this area was invaluable.
“And now it’s brilliant having the opportunity to work with Mike [Blair] who recognises the importance of developing grit whilst forging relationships with players in a differing style.
“On the actual role, running the scrums and lineouts and looking at the contact area with our Head of Strength & Conditioning Mark Robertson has been excellent.
“It’s been nice coming from being a player. I feel a privilege coaching Edinburgh Rugby at DAM Health Stadium and getting to be the Forwards Coach at our new home. I’ve found game days very exciting and it’s been brilliant to see how the fans have bought into that.”
The former hooker is embedded in the rugby culture of Edinburgh having played for Currie, Watsonians, and professionally for Edinburgh Rugby where he made 46 appearances during two spells with the club (2005-09 and 2011-14).
Lawrie re-joined Watsonians as Head Coach in 2018 having learned his trade under Phil Smith at Heriot’s, where he was a key figure in the Goldenacre outfit winning the league title in 2015 and a league and cup double in 2016.
The Corstorphine man’s new role as Forward Coach gives him the opportunity to continue to represent his rugby city.
“I want to engage with fans, stakeholders in Edinburgh Rugby and people that care about the club,” continued Lawrie.
“I see them around the city all the time. I just want to help grow Edinburgh Rugby. We have something tangible in a home now and we’ve got a lot of history too.
“I want to share that with the fans and the people that are important. My parents are from here, my wife is from here, and, other than a brief spell in Doncaster, I’ve always called this city home.
“I want to keep on driving this team forward, to win trophies, and that’ll be all about consistency.
“I’m fully invested in the squad, the club, and from a journey point of view, I’m grateful to Phil Smith at Heriot’s who gave me the opportunity to coach when I was still playing, and then coaching at Watsonians.
“I’m also grateful to Richard Cockerill who gave me the opportunity to come into the professional environment and then very thankful for Mike who has given me an opportunity to take on the Forwards Coach role full-time.”
Head Coach Mike Blair added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Stevie this season and he’s really impressed me with his enthusiasm and passion for the role.
“He’s fully committed to making this team as great as it can possibly be and the squad all buy into what he’s trying to do. They feed off his energy because they know he’s genuine and cares about this club and this city.
“Working alongside Kitty [MacRae] and Gareth [Baber] – who’ve both been absolutely brilliant this season and deserve praise for the way they’ve coached this team – we’ve got a great dynamic in the coaching team and we’re excited by the upward trajectory of the club and this group of players.”
Lawrie’s first task as full-time Forwards Coach is a trip to Cape Town, where the capital side will face the DHL Stormers in the Final Eight of the United Rugby Championship on Saturday 4 June (kick-off 6pm BST).
He continued: “The DHL Stormers are an incredibly well coached side. They have a lot of threat and a big pack with Springboks and future Springboks as well.
“To be going to Cape Town with the carrot of a home Semi-Final is massive. It’s a big test for us and the boys have been working hard this week to prepare.
“It’s a beautiful city and a huge game – we can’t wait to get out there.”