Newcastle Falcons hooker and former Scotland international Scott Lawson will retire from professional rugby at the end of the season to take up the position of Director of Rugby (DoR) at the University of St Andrews.
36-year-old Lawson made his 47th and final appearance for Scotland off the bench in their Six Nations game with Wales earlier this year, and featured at both the 2007 and 2011 World Cup tournaments.
Having come through the youth system at his local club Biggar in South Lanarkshire, Lawson made his professional debut with Glasgow Warriors before moving to English Premiership outfit Sale Sharks in 2007. He has been a mainstay south of the border ever since, spending time at Gloucester, London Irish and most recently Newcastle, where he has been since 2013.
Lawson does bring some coaching experience to the role at St Andrews, currently serving as DoR at National North Two side Tynedale RFC. He has also previously worked as an elite specialist skills coach for Scottish Rugby.
The position of DoR at St Andrews had been vacant since the beginning of 2018, when David Ross departed the University to take up a position in New Zealand.
The former Gloucester hooker inherits a set-up that encompasses five teams, four male and one female, with the St Andrews men’s first team currently in the BUCS Premier North B division. The women’s team finished last season in second place in the Scottish 1A division behind Glasgow.
Of his appointment, Lawson said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed as Director of Rugby at such a prestigious University.
“The traditions of the past along with the current world class facilities and vision for the future for all sport at St Andrews add to my excitement in leading what is an already successful rugby programme. I can’t wait to get started.”
Director of Sport at the University Stephen Stewart was glowing in his praise of Scott Lawson’s abilities and experience as a player, lauding the addition of a “world-class sports person” to the Saints Sport set up.
He said: “To have a world renowned international athlete of Scott Lawson’s calibre wanting to be a part of the sport programme at St Andrews is recognition of where the University is now placed within the sports sector.
“As one of the world’s leading Universities, and top ranked University in Scotland, our ambition is to make a significant impact within international student sport, and provide a platform to enhance further the unique student experience that underpins our world-class teaching and research.”
Mr Stewart continued, “We very much look forward to welcoming Scott into our team and benefiting from his vast experience from an extensive career in professional and international sport.”
Scott Lawson will take up his position at the end of the current playing season with Newcastle Falcons. The Falcons finished fourth in this season’s Aviva Premiership, meaning they head into play-offs, where they will take on defending champions Exeter Chiefs.