New Borders role for Tait

COMMONSENSE prevailed yesterday when the Borders announced the signing of Scotland and British and Irish Lions legend Alan Tait as coaching consultant.

It had been feared that Tait, who had been axed as a defensive coach by the Scottish Rugby Union earlier this year, would be lost to Scotland and possibly rugby union altogether, but the Borderer will now be able to offer his vast expertise to his local professional team.

Borders head coach, Steve Bates, said yesterday he was delighted with Tait’s appointment. "Alan will be our defensive adviser and will also work with the younger players. In fact, the whole squad will benefit from Alan’s skills and knowledge of the game."

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Kelso-born Tait scored 17 tries for Scotland in a 27 cap Test career which stretched from 1987 to 1999. After the 1988 season he switched to rugby league during which he played for Widnes and Leeds and made 16 appearances for Great Britain, before returning to union in 1996-97. He was part of the victorious Lions tour of South Africa in 1997 and a key member of Scotland’s Five Nations-winning team in 1999.

Meanwhile, Biggar last night confirmed former Scotland and Lions forward John Beattie as their new forwards coach. The former Glasgow Accies assistant Beattie, now a media pundit, will link up with his BBC commentating colleague Gary Parker at the Hartree Mill club.

Beattie said: "I told Accies last week that I would no longer be involved with them and I am excited about the challenges that lie ahead at Biggar. I am thrilled at the prospect of being part of a club who want to go places and I have the utmost respect for Gary."

Premiership champions Glasgow Hawks have stepped up their summer recruitment campaign by snapping up freed Edinburgh professional Guy Perrett.

Perrett was released after opting to concentrate on his career as a doctor. Hawks spokesman Hugh Barrow said: "Guy will be a huge asset to us in our title defence. He has made it clear that his medical activities are his priority and we are happy to accommodate that."