SELKIRK Rugby Club have appointed former player Ewen Robbie as the club’s new development officer. 

In a break with tradition, the 42-year-old will also take over the role of director of rugby.

Meanwhile current Selkirk player Rory Banks has been appointed to a part-time rugby post by the Philiphaugh club. 

He will have special responsibility for developing the game in local primary schools, as well as working closely with the Selkirk Rhinos mini-rugby section.

“We’re delighted with both appointments,” said Selkirk RFC chairman John Rutherford, who is also the club’s director of rugby.

“The posts have been filled following rigorous selection procedures, with the SRU, who part-fund the post, having a major input into the process. 

"It was their suggestion that the best way forward would be to split the role of the DO, and this is exactly what has happened. I think we’ve made two first-class appointments.

“Both are Selkirk men and both are very committed to the club and development of rugby in the area and I'm confident they will be a great asset both to the club and to the Selkirk community as a whole."

Ewen, who made over 200 1st XV appearances for Selkirk in a 15-year playing career, is currently in his second season as joint-coach of Peebles. 

He has agreed to remain in his coaching position at The Gytes up until the team’s BT National 2 showdown against Kelso on January 13.

He told us: "I’ve really enjoyed my time with Peebles and it was hard telling everyone of my decision to move back to Philiphaugh.

"However, they totally understand what the new post means to me, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and good wishes extended to me by Peebles players, supporters and officials.”

Ewen and Rory, who both live in Selkirk, will take up their new positions in January. The club’s previous development officer, Kieran Cooney, stepped down at the beginning of December to take up a new post with the SRU as its schools and youth partnership officer based in the Borders.

And Ewen says he is relishing returning to his home town club. 

He added: “I’m very excited about what lies ahead, and see my new responsibilities as both stimulating and challenging.

“Rugby plays a very important part in the Selkirk community, and it’s up to both myself and Rory to continue to build on the foundations that have already been laid.

“I believe the best motivation for people is to enjoy what they’re doing, and to feel they belong to a well-run organisation that is making a real difference to their local community. Quite honestly I can’t wait to get started!”

Ewen has formerly served as head coach of the Borders under-20 academy, and in his new role will be responsible for liaising with Selkirk High School and overseeing Selkirk Rugby Club’s school of rugby programme.

Rory, 25, is currently captain of Selkirk’s cricket team and spent a year as Scottish Cricket’s youth development officer for the South of Scotland.