It’s an exciting time for rugby lecturer Nikki Walker.
The former Scotland international has taken up the assistant head coach role at Watsonians.
The move sees the ex-Hawick winger join up with former teammate Fergus Pringle to lead the Edinburgh side in their maiden season in Scotland’s new Super 6 league, and Nikki hopes his new role will help develop the next generation coming through at Borders College.
Nikki said: “I am so excited to be taking up the role at Watsonians.
“We are going into a brand-new league and we are all really looking forward to it. The new Super 6 league has been set up to help bridge the gap between professional and amateur rugby, so it will be a great challenge for us. I am expecting it to be competitive and I am sure everyone will need to be even more committed than they already are in the Premiership.
“I think this will certainly help me develop as a coach and I am hoping that will help the students at Borders College, and at the Borders and East Lothian rugby academy.
“The Super 6 will be a semi-professional league, so everything that I learn while at Watsonians I can bring back down here.
“I came into the College just over four years ago as a coach and I am set to get my teaching qualifications in the next couple of weeks.
“It will be great to get my head out of the books and get fully focused on what we can do here.”
Nikki, who has 24 caps for Scotland, has played professionally for the Ospreys, Worcester Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby sides.
During his career, he also turned out for Hawick and enjoyed a three-year stint at the helm at Mansfield Park.
At the beginning of last year, Nikki was selected by Scottish Rugby as an attack coach in the under 20s set up ahead of the Six Nations Tournament.
But he knows his new side will have to put a lot of effort in if they are going to be successful in their new division – which will see each team play 20 competitive matches starting in November.
Nikki added: “This is a new venture for everybody, so I don’t think anyone is too sure on what to expect.
“What I know is, we have a good team at Watsonians and we don’t want to go and make too many changes in personnel. While we will, of course, want to add a few fresh faces, we know we need to keep the majority of the players together.
“[Former Watsonians head coach] Steve Lawrie left the club earlier this year to join up with Edinburgh Rugby coaching team. I think that speaks volumes about the work he did to get the club where it is at.
“I know Fergus well, from playing alongside him at Hawick, and this is now a great chance for us to try and keep up that good work.”