MARK McKENZIE, the former Scotland A stand-off, has been appointed St Aloysius College's new director of rugby.

McKenzie will take up his post on August 1 after a seven-year period with the Scottish Rugby Union, first as a development officer and then for the last five years as the performance development manager and regional academy coach for Midlands.

The job of director of rugby at St Aloysius will involve direct coaching and coach education. "I would want to provide focused training and strength and conditioning programmes that will enable the players at St Aloysius to be able to progress," said the 40-year-old.

"I know the system well and can tailor programmes according to needs. I hope I can make a difference in terms of improving results and bringing players through to regional level."

McKenzie, who will have Andy Henderson, the former Scotland centre who now plays for GHA among his coaching assistants, added: "Schools are the best environment to develop players. It's a captive audience and you can work with players two, three, maybe four times a week"

St Aloysius College will certainly want to improve their results, having struggled in recent seasons against the rising power of east-coast schools but the College can look back to five Scottish Schools Cup wins between 1988 and 1996 and will look to their new director of rugby to revive their fortunes.

McKenzie , who according to deputy rector and former coach, Phil Crampsey, topped an outstanding list of candidates, will bring considerable player experience to the post, having helped Stirling County win the division one league title in 94/95 and Caledonia the district title a year later, when the Reds fielded the likes of Rowen Shepherd, Rob Wainwright, Dave McIvor and his elder brother, Kevin McKenzie.

McKenzie, who had a two-year professional contract with the French club, Bourgoin, joins a growing list of high-profile players and coaches who have taken up posts with independent schools, which includes Rob Moffat (Dollar Academy), Steve Bates (Fettes College) and Peter Wright (Glasgow Academy).