ALAN TAIT, a former Scotland and British and Irish Lions star, has been unveiled as the new head coach of the Southern Knights Super6 team, starting with immediate effect.

The 58-year-old previously had two stints as defence coach of the Scotland national team during the 2000s, then filled the same role with the Border Reivers and Newcastle Falcons, followed by a spell as head coach at Falcons between 2009 and 2012.

More recently he has worked with Scottish Rugby’s SQ programme which seeks to identify and recruit talent from across the UK and beyond

He initially joined the Knights set-up as a defence coach last summer, and will now be assisted during the upcoming Super6 Sprint series by two former Melrose players who went on to play professionally in Scott Wight (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland 7s) overseeing the backs and Lewis Carmichael (Edinburgh and Scotland) in charge of the forwards.

“We are looking to build an exciting squad and looking forward to working with young and experienced players that want the opportunity to play rugby at the highest level in Scotland outside the pro-game,” said Tait. “ We can hopefully inspire players from the region, and wider a-field, to play in a fantastic competition and support them in reaching their full rugby potential in.”

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Tait, who came through the ranks in his native Kelso, scored 18 tries in 27 caps for Scotland between 1987 and 1999, with those international appearances sandwiching a highly successful period in Rugby League with Widnes, Leeds and Great Britain.

After returning to the 15-man code, a career highlight came in 1997 when he played on the wing in the first two winning Tests of the British and Irish Lions’ iconic series victory over South Africa.

“Alan brings a lot of experience, enthusiasm and energy and is undoubtedly passionate about developing players and coaches,” said Southern Knights Director of Rugby, Rob Moffat. “We believe he is heading up an extremely exciting coaching team and playing programme.”