Hawick Linden continued their off-season rebuilding this week with the announcement that Ian Barnes will become the new vice-president of the club.
The former Hawick RFC and Edinburgh coach is a well-known and often outspoken figure within Scottish rugby and it is hoped he can apply some of his vast experience and knowledge of the game to help Linden continue their ascension through Scottish rugby.
Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Barnes said: “I’ve been a member of the club for a number of years now and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been involved with rugby as a lad, they were the ones who got me hooked on the sport and now I what to give something back.
“John [Tait] and the committee approached me and asked if I would be interested in becoming the vice-president and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
“I want to try and help out as much as I can and help the club reach its full potential, and if I can use my experience and knowledge of the game then that is great.”
Barnes, a former Scottish internationalist who made his debut against Wales in 1972, is under no illusions that helping improve Linden will be difficult but is optimistic the club can push on and compete with the bigger sides in East League Divison One. “It is tough times for all of rugby these days not just in Hawick which means you have to make the most of the resources you have at your disposal,” he said. “I have worked with Kenny [Colville, Linden head coach] for a number of years and I will help him out with anything he needs to improve the club.
“In general terms we will see what happens because I don’t know what I will be doing. I am yet to have a sit down with John [Tait] to discuss the role but I am sure once we do he will suggest where he wants me to concentrate.”
Barnes concluded: “It will be a difficult and hard challenge but I’m positive I can help build on the good work that has already been done at Linden.”
Club president John Tait is delighted with the appointment and is looking forward to working with such a legendary figure in Hawick rugby.
He said: “Ian has been a member of the Linden for many years as a player and supporter and now wants to put something back into the club by becoming my vice-president, which I am absolutely delight about.”