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Clean bill of health key to Highland promotion to the Premiership

By Alasdair Fraser

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HUGO Crush believes Highland can pull off a spectacular third consecutive promotion success – if they steer clear of injury woe.

Rugby. Highland v Heriot Blues..Hugo Crush..Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No..
Rugby. Highland v Heriot Blues..Hugo Crush..Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No..

The 22-year-old scrum half, thriving in National One this season, is back with his boyhood club after a couple of years of university study in the central belt.

That sojourn allowed the Invernessian to sample the second top division a year earlier than his Highland colleagues after joining the now-relegated Hamilton Bulls. Two defeats in early October dented the team’s progress, but the schools rugby coach remains optimistic.

“I believe we have a great chance in the division this year. We’re in the mix,” the club’s youth product stressed.

“I think, from Christmas, we’ll see three or four teams pull away and I think we can certainly be involved in that.

“Especially if we avoid more injuries.”

Underpinning that confidence is a superb team spirit under head coach David Carson.

“My first senior year saw us almost sweep the board in the Caledonia League but, while I was away, it was amazing to see them win National Three and then come second in National Two.

We have no money to bring anyone in and I think that enhances the club.

“The ethos is to fight for our club – that’s what we thrive on.”

The Hamilton experience gave Crush insight into the division’s demands.

“It was a fantastic experience down at Hamilton and something, maybe, I didn’t expect in the darker days at Highland.

I’m taking a lot of that experience with me this year and I’m proud to be playing with my boyhood club in the second highest league in Scotland.

“The more we settle in this league the more confidence you will see from the players. There have been times when we’ve played to our absolute best.

“We just need to reach that level as often as we can.”

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