Player plea as Greens kick off revival bid

Rocky Johnstone
Rocky Johnstone

ROCKY Johnstone and Jim Renwick have taken temporary charge of Hawick.

But both have intimated they are only keen to help out in the short term following the resignation of Derek Armstrong on Tuesday night.

Jim Renwick

Jim Renwick

Former assistant coach Johnstone, who is also a rugby development officer at the club, told the Hawick News this week there was no chance he would join Armstrong out the exit door.

He said: “I’ll never leave a sinking ship. I’ll try to get it afloat again.

“It’s easy to blame the coaches, but we need the players to rally round. Some of the performances haven’t been good enough and that’s what we desperately need to put right.”

The job was expected to be advertised this week and it is understood the powers-that-be at Mansfield Park would like their new man in place by next month.

However, that man will not be Johnstone, who has distanced himself from the role.

He said: “I’m not looking to be head coach. If you look around Premier One then the majority of head coaches are full-time.

“It needs to be someone who has more time than I’ve got. I have a job as well and I’m too busy.”

Nor will it be former Scotland and British Lions legend Renwick who has agreed to coach the backs for the next two weeks.

The 59-year-old, who took his first session last night, said: “I was down at the match on Saturday [against Aberdeen] and I could see one or two problems.

“I was approached by [Greens vice-president] Michael Aitken and I’ve agreed to help for a couple of weeks. At the end of the day I’m a Hawick man. I’ve got a bit of spare time on my hands and I want to see the team doing well.”

They certainly have a huge task ahead of them to lift a Hawick side that has yet to record a win this season and lies at the foot of the Premier One table with just three points.

But it is a challenge that Johnstone is relishing.

He added: “The last four weeks are in the past and we need to forget about what’s gone on and pull together as a team.

“We need to give the home crowd something to shout about.

“In the second half on Saturday I thought they were brilliant and you could see it in their faces that they really wanted us to win.

“But you could also see they were hurting when we were conceding cheap tries and that’s something we need to address.”