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Highland ring in change by appointing new director of rugby

By Will Clark

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HIGHLAND Rugby Club have appointed their first team coach Brian Bell as their new director of rugby.

Brian Bell.
Brian Bell.

The 65-year-old takes over the role from Iain Chisholm, who left earlier this month.

The former club captain and president previously worked for Scottish Rugby as a development manager.

He returned to Highland a few years ago where he led the second team to an undefeated season in Caledonia North Two in the 2018/19 campaign.

Last season, he was promoted to first team coach, where Highland were in third place in National One before the campaign was ruled null and void due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bell says his number one aim as director is to enable Highland to become a Premiership outfit, saying they are already close to that goal.

“It was quite exciting to be asked and I considered what I would be able to offer them in terms of what they were looking for,” he said.

“Highland are a club that I have been with for a long time, so it was not a difficult decision.

“We are looking to continue our success and since I came back to the club, we have always been aiming to become a Premiership outfit.

“We got pretty close to doing that last season.

“We are now looking to push and gain promotion which is the main target for the first XV.

“That requires for everything underneath working really well which includes a strong second XV at Caledonia North Two and we’re looking to get a third XV playing as well.

“The ambitions haven’t changed at all, we have a great group of coaches, great support staff, so there is nothing to stop us achieving that.”

Bell played as a second-row for Highland when he joined as a player in 1985.

He will remain as a coach for the first team when Highland return to action with the season scheduled to start in January.

Competitive rugby was due to return on October 31 but due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in Scotland, it has been delayed with no set date in place.

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