Scottish Rugby completes recruitment for new Rugby Development team

Scottish Rugby can today announce the appointment of all positions in its new Rugby Development department which is charged with growing the game across Scotland.

A new regional delivery structure has been put in place which sees five new Regional Director posts created, supported by a team of Regional Managers to provide closer, more direct support to rugby clubs at all levels.

The new structure is part of Scottish Rugby’s ambitious Agenda 3 programme which puts participation, performance and sustainability at the heart of how clubs can develop and adapt to today’s society and maintain their position as focal points of the local community.

The regional Rugby Development team 

Appointees for the newly created roles are drawn from the world of business, sports development and internal recruitment from within Scottish Rugby.

Scottish Rugby attracted 48 candidates for the Regional Director roles and saw an even higher level of interest (86) for the manager posts.

Scottish Rugby CEO, Mark Dodson, said: “This has been a thorough and comprehensive change to how we deliver our support to clubs across Scotland.

"It was important to recruit people who shared our vision of the role clubs can have in their local communities and have the necessary range of skills to make a real difference to how we work with them and grow all aspects of the game.

“This is significant strategic change in how we work with our most important stakeholders and it underlines our commitment to ensuring rugby at every level, in every region, grows and is truly a game for life.”

Director of Rugby Development, Sheila Begbie, added: “I am really excited by the level of interest and quality of candidates we have seen for these roles.

“We want to bring a proactive approach to our work with clubs and be right there on the ground to help them with the many challenges they face in order to run successful and sustainable organisations – this will be about what we can achieve together.

“I believe we have secured a very talented group, who bring a passion for the game and diverse experiences to their respective roles and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress we can make together to ensure rugby remains the sport so many people enjoy.”

Appointments by region

The Caledonia region will be supported by Caledonia North and Caledonia Midlands teams.

Heading up the Caledonia North team as Regional Director will be Chris Hildrey, who joins from sportscotland, where he has most recently been Regional Performance Manager for Highlands and Islands.

He will be joined by new Regional Managers Alan Falconer, who has been Hamilton Rugby Club’s Development Officer from 2011 and worked in rugby development for over a decade.

Sinclair Patience is the other Regional Manager following his previous role as Coach Development Officer at Scottish Rugby.

In Caledonia Midlands the new Regional Director is former Edinburgh player Steve Turnbull who has worked as a Regional Club Services Manager for Scottish Rugby since January 2018. He previously worked in Edinburgh, Mid & West Lothian areas and will be joined by two Regional Managers.

Graham Lindsay has worked at Scottish Rugby since 2008 and his most recent role was as School & Youth Development Manager covering the Midlands area.

Andy Cummins joins from Perthshire RFC where he was Director of Rugby for 17 years. He is also a specialist coach in the Caledonia Regional Academy and a Scottish Rugby Coach Educator.

Alex Edmonstone of Scottish Rugby is promoted to Regional Director covering Glasgow North. He was previously School & Youth Development Manager for the Glasgow North area and has been with Scottish Rugby since 2010.

Alex is joined by Jen Miller who was previously Scottish Rugby’s Women & Girls Development Officer for the West.

Also taking a Regional Manager role is Ailidh Hood who joins from Scottish Curling where she was National Development Manager. A former netball and basketball international Ailidh previously worked at Scottish Hockey and Scottish Sports Futures.

In the Glasgow South region Jen Griffin takes on the Regional Director position having previously been a partnership manager with sportscotland working with Scottish Governing Bodies. Jen has also worked at South Lanarkshire Leisure and with the Active Schools programme.

Supporting Jen as Regional Managers will be two Scottish Rugby staff. Glen Tippett, who has already worked extensively in the region as School & Youth Development Manager and Jess Broatch, who was Regional Club Services Manager.

The Edinburgh, Lothian & Borders Regional Director will be David Drummond.

David joins from the Scottish FA where he was responsible for the overall planning, management and implementation of regional football strategies, within the South East Region of Scotland.

David has over 13 years’ experience in sports development working in both local authority and governing body positions.

He will be joined by four Regional Managers given the geographical reach of the area and the number of clubs and T1-4 schools.

They are Ally Chalmers and Chris Pacey who have held School & Youth Development Manager and Regional Club Services Manager roles at Scottish Rugby respectively.

Louise Dalgleish is a former Scotland internationalist and coaching within the Scottish Futures programme. Previously a Principal Teacher of Guidance and teacher of PE in East Lothian, as well as a current Head Coach, Louise has experience of sports development and age-grade rugby.

Kenny Brown returns to Scottish Rugby following a period of time at sportscotland and Premiership Rugby as a Play Development Manager where he was responsible for planning, resourcing, and delivery of the national community development programme.

Alongside the regional delivery teams two other key roles in the new rugby development structure have been appointed.

Ken Muir has joined the team in the new role of Head of Business Operations. Ken has experience in corporate strategy, business analytics and project management. He previously held positions at WestJet in Canada, American Express and British Airways, where he was Global Payments Manager.

Vicky Cox is the new Competitions & Compliance Manager. Vicky was previously Senior Operations Manager at Scottish Qualifications Authority. She also worked as the Public Ticketing Manager for Glasgow 2014 and a Contact Centre Project Manager at Ticketmaster.

All five regions will also have their own coach development officers and regional administrators, providing additional resources to ensure a high-quality delivery of support on the ground.

All the appointees are now taking up their roles in the coming weeks with the final new starter in post by early November.