Meet the men in charge of coaching The Co-Optimists to glory in this year’s Melrose Sevens.
The Co-Optimists have acquired the services of two of the Scottish game’s biggest names in Steve Lewis and Scott Wight. The pair will be tasked with replicating the previous successes of The Co-Ops’ 98 year history, beginning with a repeat of the 1993 result in which we were crowned champions.
Scott - “I’ve got a proud association with The Melrose Sevens”
Steve - “I am excited to contribute to the revival of the Scottish rugby brand that is the Co-Optimists at the birthplace of rugby sevens.”
Scott’s playing career is littered with accolades. A Melrose local, playing for Melrose RFC, Wight captained the Greenyards team to a magnificent haul of Premier 1, Border League and Melrose Sevens titles, as well as guiding them to the final of the Scottish Cup. Scott played and captained Scotland 7s on the IRB world circuit from 2013-2017 and was captain of the first Scottish Sevens rugby team to win an IRB world circuit event. He was also a member of the first Scottish team to ever beat New Zealand at any level. During this time he was also a commonwealth athlete, taking part in Glasgow 2014. Before then he spent three years playing for Pro14 champions Glasgow Warriors.
Scott’s coaching career is equally as prestigious. He was head coach of Scotland women's 7s, winning back-to-back trophies with his squad, putting Scotland’s Women’s team back at the top table of World Rugby again. Scott has experience coaching Border Under 20s as well as The Scottish Men’s 7s skills coach
The Melrose local says he has a proud association with Melrose Sevens and is thrilled to be talking with a lot of great players from all over the world with a view to getting them to become Co-Optimists.
When asked about the prospect of bringing a fiercely competitive squad to Melrose, the Glasgow native replied: “As a Scot working with Major League Rugby’s New York team, I am excited to contribute to the revival of the Scottish rugby brand that is the Co-Optimists at the birthplace of rugby sevens.”
Steve Lewis is currently one of The United States’ most experienced and successful Seven’s coaches. He has been awarded The United States Rugby Coach of the Year in both 2015 and 2019, after winning a National Championship with The Bulldogs.
Having started his playing career at West of Scotland Rugby Club and the Glasgow provincial team, Steve immigrated to the United States and became player-coach in Colorado. His coaching career progressed rapidly in Colorado, spanning every level of the American game - including clubs such as Denver Highlanders and Old Blue New York RFC. Steve has also coached numerous representative sides such as the West Men's All-Stars, West Collegiate All-Stars, Northeast Collegiate All-Stars and Eastern Rockies U19 All-Stars. He has also coached the national teams of Nigeria and Jamaica.
Steve is the current director of rugby operations at Rugby New York, a member of the USA Rugby Congress, and the 7’s representative on USA Rugby’s Performance Game Board. The founder of the Northeast Academy, one of USA Rugby’s most successful sevens pathway programs, will be known to USA Sevens rugby fans as he is a regular analyst and commentator on ESPN.
We look forward to welcoming both Steve and Scott to The Co-Ops family, and are eager to witness their experience and expertise first hand when we take the field at The Melrose Sevens this April.