Kevin Wyness has been appointed as the new head coach for Aberdeen Grammar Rugby. The following article is from the Aberdeen Press & Journal:
Kevin Wyness has been appointed as head coach of Aberdeen Grammar in a major reshuffle at the Rubislaw club.
The 48-year-old has been promoted from his role as the club’s forwards coach. Wyness replaces Alex Duncan, who has left Rubislaw after four years in charge as the club looks to move in a new direction after finishing fifth in the Premiership last season and missing out on the British and Irish Cup by a single point.
Wyness, a former head coach at Ellon, spent 15 years with Grammar during his playing days. He will be assisted by Ali O’Connor, Colin Philips, Stuart Corsar, Rob Aloe and Steven Park.
He said: “I am very proud to become the head coach of a Premiership team and I had no hesitation in accepting the job. It is an exciting league to be part of and there are a lot of talented and committed players at the club.
“We have got to fly the flag for the north-east and keep rugby as a major sport in the area. We have shown that we can compete at the top level and our aim next season is to do better than fifth position.
“We have high hopes for the future and we are very much looking forward to the new season getting underway in August.
“I hope to put my own mark on the team as well as giving the coaches and players the opportunity to express themselves.”
Aberdeen Grammar chairman Gordon Thomson is confident that Wyness can take the club to the next level.
He added: “Kevin is hugely respected by everyone connected with the club and his enthusiasm for the job is infectious. The senior players are looking forward to working with Kevin to drive forward in the new season and the committee will support him fully in his new role.
“We would like to place on record our appreciation of Alex Duncan’s work in taking Aberdeen back to the Premiership and consolidating the club’s place in the top division. We wish him well for the future as we build on the foundations that have been laid.”
Aberdeen Grammar will be holding a RugbyForce day on 10 August starting at 11 am.
For more information, please contact Stuart Corsar at email@example.com.
More information on RugbyForce can be found here.
The Annual General Meeting of the Club will take place at the Club Centre at 7 pm on Wednesday 5 June 2013.
All motions to be considered at the A.G.M must be submitted to the Honorary Club Secretary (Gordon Thomson) in writing no less than 14 days before the meeting as are nominations to stand as executive committee members.
The nominee, proposer and seconder must be full members of the club and have their fees for the year 2012/13 paid by 30 April 2013. Written submissions must be with the Honorary Secretary by 5 pm on 22 May 2013.
The 2013 end of season presentation dinner is being held as follows:
Date: Friday, 17 May 2013
Time: 19:00 for 19:30
Location: Douglas Hotel, Market Street
This event will celebrate the Club and individual successes in the past season including winning the Caledonia Cup, winning the Bill McLaren Shield the sensational televised performance at the Melrose 7s and also individual achievements in gaining international honours.
Tickets are available at £35 per person (£30 for students) and can be obtained from Jim Rae, Gordon Thomson and Bruce Gray. All players, support staff, supporters and sponsors are welcome.
13 April 2013
Aberdeen Grammar’s run of last-gasp reverses continued at Melrose where they unluckily went out in the semi-final to Saracens, the eventual winners of the world-famous tournament.
Grammar were a conversion away from toppling the English Premiership club after winger James Fleming had tied the scores at 10-19. Stand off and former Melrose favourite Scott Wight was wide of the target with his conversion attempt.
In the ensuing extra-time Saracens got an early break to send Grammar home with an agonising feeling of what might have been in a thrilling tie.
Graham Barron, the Aberdeen side’s team manager, said: “We achieved our objective of getting to the semi-final, but once we got there we had a real go at Sarries.
“It was an astonishing effort from the lads who, as the last Scottish side standing in the competition, enjoyed the support of the 12,000 crowd who gave them a standing ovation after the tie. We did everything required of us, scoring 17 tries in our four matches, two of which went to extra time.”
Grammar started the tournament with a bang, running in six tries against a limited Selkirk side which had no answer to the pace of Fleming who scored two tries as did captain Greig Ryan to ease the Rubislaw men into the second round with a 38-5 win. Jed-Forest were a serner test and pushed into a 15-0 lead, leaving Grammar on the verge of going out of the competition.
Grammar were handed a lifeline right on the break when scrum half Morgan Ward nipped over after fine work from his front three of Steve Aitken and Ryan.
Tries from Fleming, Peceli Nacamavuto and Ryan gave Grammar the lead at 22-15 which they immediately surrendered to send the game into extra time. They looked to be going out but were saved only by a superb cover tackle from Douglas who then went on to score the winner with a 50-yard burst to the line.
The sweetest moment of the afternoon for Grammar was the final whistle in the quarter-finals after they had beaten the home side in a pulsating tie in which Melrose were always second best to the Aberdeen side who eased through more easily than the 17-14 scoreline would suggest.
Tries from Aitken, who got through a sound shift in all his games, Fleming and Douglas put them through to a repeat of last season’s semi-final against Saracens.
Astute play led to Ryan popping up to sore only for Saracens to level at 7-7, but then Grammar surged ahead again through Aitken after a super reverse pass from replacement scrum half Rob Aloe.
Two tries from Saracens looked to have sealed their place in the final, but at 19-14 for the pros the real drama was yet to come.
After a splendid bout of handling, involving the entire Grammar team, Wight found replacement Tony McGinness in space on the Saracens line, only for the prop to knock on with the line at his mercy.
Grammar were not done and with the last play of normal time Fleming raced over the line only for Wight to miss the difficult conversion kick.
Less than 30 seconds into extra time it was over when Tom Jubb scored for Saracens who went on to pip Clermont Auvernge 24-22 with the last kick of the tournament.
© 2013 Jack Nixon
Aberdeen Grammar squad: Tony McGinness, Greig Ryan (c), Murray Douglas, Steve Aitken, Peceli Nacamavuto, James Fleming (Scotlands 7s), Scott Wight (Glasgow Warriors), Will Wardlaw, Morgan Ward, Rob Aloe.
Following one of Aberdeen Grammar Rugby’s most successful seasons yet, we are hosting an evening for those interested in working with the Club next season (2013/14).
Join us on Friday 26th April from 7pm at the Grammar FP club centre for refreshments where we will be on hand to explain all that the club has to offer. Players, committee members and our youth development coach will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have and to explain how we can work in partnership with you and your business.
We have a variety of sponsorship and hospitality options available throughout the season, and covering our activities all the way through from our primary school age teams to the First XV who play in Premier 1, the top league in Scottish rugby.
Please Contact our Corporate Manager, Diane Dow, on 07751 867100 or firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your interest in attending.
We look forward to seeing you on the 26th.
Jim Rae, Honorary President of the Club, has provided the full text of the piece reported by the SRU:
As Honorary President of Aberdeen Grammar Rugby, I am personally particularly proud to have won the Bill McLaren Shield by beating League Champions Ayr on Saturday and securing the Club’s place at the ‘top-table’ of club rugby in Scotland for next season. In addition to my strong associations with the Club and Scottish rugby, it is a more a matter of family pride.
Simply put, my father taught Bill McLaren rugby and was a life-long friend of his. My Dad was PE master at Hawick High School during his formative years and actively encouraged Bill both as a player and an aspiring sports coach. Much of Bill’s attitude toward sport was fostered by my dad and it was he who suggested to a young Bill that he might wish to consider pursuing a career in education as a PE Master. The rest is history!
During his late teens, Bill played in the same Hawick team as my dad, James B Rae, and attached is a photo of a Hawick Seven featuring a young McLaren and my dad to his right. We believe this to be from the late 40s and possibly at Melrose. At that time Bill would have been 17 and “Jimmy” 23, or so (my dad started teaching at Hawick HS at the age of 21 have qualified from Jordanhill College, Glasgow). This friendship endured until my dad’s passing and I remember attending many games at Mansfield Park to be greeted by “Young Bill”. Latterly, Bill and dad shared many morning coffees bemoaning the advance of “professional” rugby and the resulting changes in the ethos of the game “polluted by money”.
Dad left Hawick in the late 40s and moved to be Games Master at Dollar Academy where he was later joined by Art Master, Adam Robson, a Hawick man and capped as one of Scotland’s finest destructive tackling wing-forwards. Latterly, he was joined by a new assistant, Ron Glasgow, who played for Gordonians and Scotland, though originally from Haddington.
In 1963, our family left Dollar and moved to Aberdeen, when Dad was appointed Head of PE at (what was then) Aberdeen Academy. His enthusiasm for all sports was a feature of his approach and during his tenure he nurtured the talents of many individuals that went on to national recognition, like Neil Cooper (football) and Richard Yule (table tennis) as well as being President of Scottish Schoolboys Rugby and instrumental in developing schools volleyball in Aberdeen and Scotland. He and Bill shared an interest in encouraging youngsters to participate in sport, not just rugby. However, much of my young life revolved around the rugby careers of my brothers at Dollar Academy, and even the choice of our family doctor in Aberdeen was based on “faither’s” personal connection with former Scottish Cap, Dr Donny Innes. My mum and dad returned to the Borders in the mid-70s, on their retirement (mum, Hawick born and bred (nee Murray) was also a PE teacher at Aberdeen High School for Girls), settling in Bowden, Near Melrose.
For my part, after a short time at Mile-End Primary, I moved to the Lower School at Aberdeen Grammar School (then an ‘all-boys’ local authority school), where in P7 I started my rugby career under the nurturing coaching and instruction of Dr Ranald Stephen, a well-known local GP who also represented Aberdeenshire Cricket Club. From then I advanced through the secondary school playing rugby enthusiastically, if not particularly well. On leaving school, after a short dalliance with university rugby and Aberdeen Wednesday Club, I joined Grammar FPs and enjoyed many seasons playing alongside legends such as Ron “Bomber” Comber, Phil Love and Jock Henry. When work took me away from Aberdeen, I continued to play rugby with a “ken-speckled” mix of clubs. On returning to the City in the early 80s, I rejoined FPs and enjoyed several seasons in the ranks of Jim Andrews’ “Indomitables”, the 3rd XV then playing in and winning the Aberdeen City League, as young clubs such as Garioch, Aboyne, Ellon and Mackie were finding their feet.
Now things have gone full circle!! As Honorary President of Aberdeen Grammar Rugby I am proud to be part of a Club that has secured the Bill McLaren Shield, a trophy created in the name of the “Voice of Rugby”, one of my dad’s former pupils and a friend of the family. I am immensely honoured on all fronts and delighted that rugby can bring about such a happy coincidence.
A limited number of Aberdeen Grammar Rugby plaques are available for purchase.
These high quality articles can be obtained from Gordon Thomson for £30 each on a first come, first served basis.
One of the plaques is on display behind the bar at the Club Centre.
Contact Gordon on 07718 905003 or my email at email@example.com