Calum MacRae is leaving his position as Newcastle Falcons’ skills coach to take charge of the Scottish national sevens team.
The 34-year-old was brought down to Kingston Park during Alan Tait’s reign as director of rugby, going on to work under both Gary Gold and Dean Richards.
A former Scotland A and sevens international during a playing career which saw him plying his trade in Scotland, England and Italy, the lure of his homeland proved too much to resist.
MacRae said: “I have always said if a coaching opportunity arose in Scotland I would look to be considered.
“The time frame for this offer fell in line, and it couldn’t have been better for my coaching career.” MacRae will succeed Stephen Gemmell in the post after Scotland conclude their Commonwealth Games campaign in Glasgow, the abbreviated code having also earned Olympic status for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.
“Having played sevens I know the unique environment it represents at the top level, and how important it is for developing players,” said MacRae (pictured left). “I’m looking forward to working with a talented group of individuals, to produce world-class sevens and, ultimately, 15-a-side performers.
“Going forward, I believe the high pressure and intensity of professional rugby is a good environment for me to have been brought up in.
“Melrose (the birthplace of sevens) is my home town, so it is a huge honour for me and my family to coach the short game at the highest level.
“I have a huge amount of love and passion for the game, and I know that I will transfer that into the performances of the players I will be working with.”
Newcastle have shown no public indication that MacRae’s current role will be filled when he departs, former fly-half Dave Walder having been hired as attack coach in recent months.
That followed the departure of head coach Peter Russell, forwards coach John Wells stepping up to the head coach mantle with Micky Ward remaining on hand as front-row coach.
Thanking the Falcons and wishing the club well for the future, MacRae said: “My role at Newcastle Falcons was very adaptable and I worked under a number of quality coaches, in Dean Richards, who helped make this move possible, Gary Gold, John Wells and Graham Steadman, and I will be looking to implement what I have learnt from them.
“At the beginning of my term with the Falcons it was like a baptism of fire, and as a team we have been up against the odds on a number of occasions in the past three years.
“However, we bounced back from dropping out the top division and have retained our place this year.”
Meanwhile, reports in France are linking Colomiers’ 31-year-old Tongan lock Uili Kolo’ofai with a move to Newcastle Falcons.