Selkirk turn to Marshall following Barrie's exit

THE man who led Selkirk's youth renaissance has now been handed the challenge of steering the town's senior players to success as first-team coach.

Graham Marshall, the former Selkirk and Scotland back row, was a leading figure in the drive within the Borders town to create a new structure of rugby from schools through local youth club to senior rugby, from his post as a PE teacher and, more recently, depute headteacher at Selkirk High School.

The success of the new system, supported by a committed group of volunteers at all levels and Selkirk RFC, has been plain to see in the silverware brought to Selkirk by successive youth teams and the senior club, topped by the 1st XV securing a long-awaited promotion back to Division One and this season remaining in the top flight.

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However, with Kevin Barrie deciding to stand down after three years guiding the 1st XV success and his assistant Michael Jaffray stepping aside, too, due to work commitments, Selkirk invited Marshall to step into his first major senior role with former player and coach Rodney Pow returning as backs coach.

Marshall, who is also Scotland Under-19s coach, said: "Kevin and Michael have done a great job in keeping Selkirk in the top flight, and now it's up to Rodney and myself to build on these foundations. It obviously helps that we have worked with the majority of Selkirk's players when they were at the youth club, and it's going to be fun working with these boys again in a senior setting."

Marshall and Pow jointly coached Selkirk Youth Club for five years, during which time the under-18 team won more than 30 sevens and 15-a-side trophies. Both have also captained Selkirk's 1st XV – Marshall from 1991-92 and Pow from 1993-95 – while Pow coached the senior team alongside Barrie in the 2007/8 season that the Souters returned to Premier One.

Selkirk's director of rugby, Dennis Henderson, said: "Everybody at Philiphaugh is delighted that Graham and Rodney have agreed to come on board next season. Their commitment to Selkirk Rugby Club has always been 100 per cent, and I'm sure their enthusiasm and strong work ethic will rub off on the players."