Jason White back at Watsonians in coach role

A young Jason White, during his playing days with Watsonians. Picture: Susan Jones
A young Jason White, during his playing days with Watsonians. Picture: Susan Jones
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Former Scotland rugby internationals Jason White and Barry Stewart will be joining the Watsonians coaching set-up for next season.

The RBS National League club have attracted the duo to Myreside for 2013/14 to work as forwards coaches alongside head coach Marcus Di Rollo, also an ex-Scotland player. Conan Sharman and Javier Palacios will also remain part of the coaching unit.

For former Scotland captain White, 34, it is a return to the club where he made his name, winning the top flight title in 1998 to catapult him into the pro ranks with Glasgow Warriors, Sale Sharks, Clermont Auvergne, Scotland and the British & Irish Lions.

He also attended George Watson’s College in his latter schooldays, playing in the same first XV as Di Rollo and current club vice-president Keith Watters.

As a result the Aberdonian is excited about the challenge ahead and told The Scotsman: “It will be great to be back at the club amongst so many familiar faces and we are looking to take the club forward next season.

“Watsonians has always retained a special place in my heart and with myself and the family moving back to Edinburgh in July I was always keen to get involved at Myreside in some capacity.

“I have kept in touch with Marcus over the years and seen the team play a couple of times when I have been back. Although they have missed out on promotion this season there really is a core of young, exciting talent in the first XV and I look forward to working with them and helping them push for the title next season.”

For the 77-times-capped back-row this is his first foray into coaching and he knows it will take some time to get used to being on the other side of the touchline and not pulling his boots on every weekend. However, it is something he is relishing.

“I know it can take time to start getting messages across to players when you begin coaching, but I will be hitting the ground running with them during pre-season and continuing that work when the season begins in August.

“It will be a learning curve for me, but it is something I am keen to try and I hope myself and the players can feed off each other and give the team a really good platform to work from,” White, who will be working for Xodus and Red Sky Management when he returns to Scotland, said.

White will work closely with 36-year-old Stewart who won five caps at prop for his country.

Stewart started out at Edinburgh Accies before he went on to play professionally for Edinburgh, Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints.

His expertise, especially for up-and-coming front-row players at Myreside, will be a big boost while the coaching team are also set to host extra clinics on Monday evenings on specific facets of the game.

On the arrival of the pair Watsonians president Paul Di Rollo said: “We are delighted to bring Jason and Barry to the club for next season.

“They are both greatly experienced players who have been there and done it and we think they will be able to transfer their skills to coaching and help out our exciting squad.

“From my point of view it is great to see the desire these guys have to put something back into the club game and the players are buzzing to get working with them.

“With Marcus, Jason, Barry, Conan and Javier now in place along with team managers Andrew Ker and David Harris we feel that we are well set for the future.”