A NEW coaching partnership is being forged in representative rugby.

Gary Callander, the former Kelso and Scotland captain and hooker, is to

coach the Scottish Students' team, and his assistant will be Simon

Scott, the Stewart's Melville and Edinburgh centre.

Allan Quinn, the Scottish Students' secretary, announced yesterday

that Callander and Scott would take over from the Selkirk duo, John

Rutherford and David Bell, who retired after the Students World Cup in

July. The secretary also intimated that Midland Corporate Banking

(Scotland) would be continuing their sponsorship with about #10,000 this

year, the company's third season of backing the students.

Quinn added that Callander ''has been doing a great job with

Haddington.'' The former hooker, who played six times for Scotland, has

been coaching the East Lothian club since 1990, and he has seen them up

to their current status of second place in the national league's third


As players, Callander and Scott have an association going back to

Scotland's 1986 tour to Spain and France, when the hooker was captain,

and already they have a coaching liaison even though the centre has only

recently turned to that side of the game, still preferring to play rugby

whenever he can. He helped Callander with Haddington for six weeks early

this season.

Callander, recalling Scott's assistance, said that the Haddington

players were impressed. The former hooker himself likened Scott to Ian

McGeechan, the Scotland and Lions coach -- ''a very pleasant chap, easy

to get on with.''

Commenting on Scott's introduction to coaching representative rugby,

Callander said it was ''a good way to bring him into it.'' The

commitment is not heavy as the students have just three matches in the

next two months.

Callander and Scott will be in charge for the first time for the

Midland Bank student international against the Irish at Raeburn Place a

week on Friday. Thereafter the Scottish Students will play their French

counterparts at Lyon on February 5 and the English at Basingstoke on

March 5.

A game against the Welsh Students also had been listed, but it has

been cancelled. The Welsh Rugby Union decreed that their students should

reduce their commitments in the two years after the Students World Cup.

* SCOTLAND'S team is to be named tomorrow for the under-21

international against Ireland at Goldenacre a week on Friday.