The head coaches for the new Super 6 tournament have been announced.
The competition, which begins next season, is designed to bridge the gap between the club game and professional rugby.
The posts are all full-time and funded by the Scottish Rugby Union.
The successful Super 6 head coaches include four from the Tennent’s Premiership: Peter Murchie (Ayr), Rob Chrystie (Melrose), Steve Lawrie (Watsonians) and Ben Cairns, who will leave Currie Chieftans to join Stirling County. They are joined by Ciaran Beattie and Graham Shiel, who take up the roles at Heriot’s and Boroughmuir respectively.
In a statement, the SRU said: “Scottish Rugby was involved in an advisory and oversight capacity, with the final decision on whom to recruit being decided by each club.
“The coaches will start in post from January 2019 and begin recruiting back-room staff and playing squads alongside the on-field rugby preparations for the inaugural campaign, which begins next season.”
Four of the six coaches – Cairns, Murchie, Lawrie and Shiel – earned senior international honours for the Scotland national team, while Beattie and Chrystie represented Scotland 7s and Scotland A.
Sean Lineen, the former Scotland centre who has been given on-field responsibility for the Super 6 by the SRU, said: “Super 6 aims to narrow the gap between the professional, elite level and the top tier of Scotland’s domestic set-up, both from a playing and coaching perspective.
“The appointment of six, full-time Scottish coaches is a critical part of that process. It rewards the coaches for investing their time in the game and creates a meaningful pathway to the elite level of the sport.
“Coaching is an incredibly important pillar which is driving the objective of improving rugby in Scotland through the Super 6 process.”