Scotland centre Ben Cairns has been named defence and skills coach for former club, Currie.
The appointment will see him follow in the footsteps of Edinburgh Rugby hooker Steven Lawrie, who coaches city and RBS Premiership rivals, Heriot’s, former back-row Simon Cross – now head coach at Edinburgh Accies – and Currie head coach, Ally Donaldson, who’s time at stand-off straddled the amateur and professional eras.
Donaldson said: “Ben [Cairns] still has realistic ambitions to play the game at the highest level but this is a great opportunity for him to cut his teeth in coaching and see if it’s a career he’d like to pursue.
“He grew up playing for the club, and his brother Mark is captain so he’s never far away from Malleny Park.
It’s good to formalise an arrangement with him and we look forward to bringing his experience and enthusiasm to the first team and across all ages at the club.”
-- Currie head coach, Ally Donaldson
As Edinburgh Rugby’s top try-scorer in Heineken Cup competition, Cairns had played over 100 games for the club when he ruptured his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in the summer of 2011.
He returned in December with six games for the club and a replacement appearance for Scotland A but was hit with a new injury setback three months later requiring a cartilage operation.
The 27-year-old continues to work with the club’s physios and strength and conditioning staff in a bid to return to match fitness but believes the time is right to broaden his horizons.
He said: “I'm really grateful for the chance offered by both Edinburgh Rugby and Currie to pursue my ambitions of playing and coaching at two great clubs.
I still believe I have a lot offer on the pitch, but a professional playing career is a short one and it’s important we all prepare ourselves for life after rugby.”
-- Ben Cairns