An incredible few days at Biggar Rugby Club has seen the appointment of a new head coach, a league win and two national cup triumphs for girls teams.
Five weeks after the resignation of Gavin Blackburn, Biggar have appointed New Zealander Gary Mercer as head coach.
Club president Alistair Stewart said: “We are delighted to get Gary.
“We had six applicants for the job – five of whom were interviewed – and Gary was the best. He came across as being very motivated, enthusiastic and driven.
“I don’t think he’ll take any nonsense from the players and he’ll have a good presence on the touchline.
“Gary sees it as a personal challenge to get this club promoted one day. We would be very keen to get back to National League.”
Mercer, who has extensive experience playing as a New Zealand rugby league cap in the north of England, has coached at Glasgow Hawks for seven years working alongside Sean Lineen.
The new Biggar boss, who has also worked with Scotland youth sides and had a spell at Yorkshire Carnegie, will meet the players for the first time tomorrow (Thursday) before taking charge of Biggar’s final league game of the season at Whitecraigs this Saturday.
Mercer’s new team enjoyed a 13-10 home league win against Ardrossan last Saturday under stand-in coach Doug Fleming to go seventh in BT National League Division 2 with 48 points from 21 matches.
After going behind to an early try which was converted, Biggar hit back when centre Robbie Lavery cantered over from 30m after Alisdair Sinclair’s offload.
An Ardrossan penalty put them 10-5 up, but Biggar levelled with 20 minutes left when Andrew Peacock rounded off a lineout drive.
A late Peacock penalty sealed the victory for Biggar, the club’s third success in less than 24 hours after the two triumphs by girls teams on Friday night.
The under-15 girls landed the Scottish Cup for the second straight year with a 38-17 win over Murrayfield Wanderers thanks to tries by Feebie Robinson, Kaylee Fraser (2), Anna McDiarmid and Eilidh Sandilands and six kicks by Fraser.
And Biggar under-18s beat Oban 41-15 to win the Scottish Bowl, with tries by Amy Watkins (2), Abbi Baillie, Kim Laird, Jennifer Bell (2) and Megan Mcleod and three kicks by Emily Armstrong.