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Champions calling for Scottish Rugby to allow them promotion to a higher level

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland Rugby Club are hopeful that restructuring in Scottish Rugby’s Caledonia leagues will allow their second team to move further up the pyramid.

Highland won Caledonia North Two again, but can't be promoted. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Highland won Caledonia North Two again, but can't be promoted. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Last weekend Highland’s second team claimed the Caledonia North Two title once again, but as a second team they are ineligible for promotion to Caledonia One.

Instead, runners up Aberdeenshire will be going up this season, and while the subject has been broached before, Raptors head coach Nathan McLaughlan says they will keep trying to change minds.

“We won the league in the 18/19 season, we were highly likely to win it in 19/20 – we just needed a single point from the last two games to win it,” he said.

“We’ve won it again this season, so if you take the season we missed because of Covid that’s four years.

“Playing in Caledonia One would probably be a good competitive level.

“It would be difficult for us, I’m not saying it would be easy at all, but I think that would be a competitive level for the guys we’ve got playing.

“We’ll keep petitioning the league and keep asking, and we’ll keep trying to win up until the point that things change.”

Highland’s 2nds have been run close at times this season, but with the first team four tiers above player development is also a factor.

“We’ve been lucky this year that Moray have had a very good season and have been strong,” McLaughlan explained.

“Aberdeenshire have been relatively strong this year as well – they’re going to get promoted now in second.

“We have had some competitive games, but we do want to test ourselves.

“Ultimately we want to prepare guys to play for our first team, so they need to be playing at as high a level as possible to do that.

“I’m hopeful rather than optimistic, that’s probably a better way of describing it. I’m hopeful it will happen at some point, but when that will be I couldn’t tell you.”

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