Chrystie relishing new attack role
With the news that South African coach Sean Everitt will take the reins in the Scottish capital for the 2023/24 season, another coach – developed slightly closer to home in both Hawick and Melrose – will also be stepping into a new and exciting role for the upcoming campaign.
Stepping up from Academy Coach to Assistant Skills and Attack Coach, Rob Chrystie continues his progression up the Scottish coaching ladder, having held coaching roles at both Melrose RFC and Southern Knights, prior to taking the role in the capital academy.
Chrystie will join forces with Stevie Lawrie [Forwards Coach], Michael Todd [Defence Coach] and now Everitt, with the South African spearheading the newly formed coaching group for the upcoming campaign.
The former scrum-half is now relishing the chance to step up to the senior squad, where he’ll get the chance to develop his attacking blueprint under the tutelage of the experienced Everitt, while working with some of Scottish rugby’s most exciting attackers, including Darcy Graham, Emiliano Boffelli and Duhan van der Merwe.
Reflecting on the new role, Chrystie said: “I’ve had quite a number of years experience coaching and working in the academy for two years has been a great experience in really transitioning from a successful club side to the pro environment.
“Coming into Edinburgh Rugby has been a brilliant experience and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from some great people here so far. I suppose this new role as Assistant Skills and Attack Coach is a natural progression and it’s one that I’m really keen to change to.
“Individual skills and attack is an area of the game that i am passionate about. Being given the opportunity to help develop this at Edinburgh is a huge honour.”
A former scrum-half for his native Hawick, Melrose, Bath, Coventry, Border Reivers and Scotland A, Chrystie’s first venture into coaching was with Melrose 11 years ago where he was an assistant to Craig Chalmers and then John Dalziel.
He took on the top job at The Greenyards in 2016 and had two seasons as Head Coach of the Scotland Club XV between 2017 and 2019, while also working as skills coach with Scotland U20 during recent U20 Championships.
Having led the capital club’s academy since his appointment in 2021, Chrystie now has the opportunity to make his mark in the senior game, where he’ll be key member of Edinburgh Rugby’s coaching group.
He continued: “Helping to prepare the team for matches week in week out really excites me, and I’m looking forward to the challenges that this brings.
“Working with the likes of Darcy [Graham] and Duhan [van der Merwe] is a really exciting prospect and I’m really eager to learn off them as well. The environment is very much focussed on allowing the players to lead at the right times – hopefully I can bring my own style to training and the way we play in the upcoming season.”
Having played a key role in developing a number of academy players who’ve now gone on to make senior appearances, Chrystie will be looking forward to turning his attention to the first XV, where he and incoming Senior Coach Everitt will work together on the team’s attack.
And the former scrum-half believes he can learn a lot from Everitt, who is set to take charge in the coming weeks.
Chrystie continued: “Sean [Everitt] is clearly someone that has a wealth of knowledge and I’m really excited to work with him and also learn from him.
“Coming from South Africa, and 15 years of coaching with The Sharks, it will be brilliant to get a different perspective overall. I think all of the coaches are eager to get started and work with Sean – it’s really exciting for Edinburgh Rugby.”