Scotland rugby international Jamie Dobie cannot wait for Inverness homecoming after Glasgow Warriors confirm pre-season friendly against Worcester Warriors at Caledonian Stadium as part of Highland RFC's centenary celebrations
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Inverness rugby player Jamie Dobie says it will be “special” to return to the Highland capital with Glasgow Warriors.
The Scotland international is part of a squad that will play a pre-season friendly at the Caledonian Stadium on Friday, September 2, with Worcester Warriors the opponents for the first professional rugby match in Inverness for over 20 years.
Dobie, who turned out for Highland minis before moving to Edinburgh for school, is relishing the opportunity to come home, saying it is good for Scottish rugby that Glasgow are heading to the Highlands.
“It’s great to have this first fixture in pre-season up in Inverness,” Dobie said.
“To spread the game around the country is good and hopefully we’ll have some fans come along that wouldn’t necessarily get to a normal game at Scotstoun.
“It’s really exciting and even more so for me being from Inverness.
“It’s tough during the regular season to have games elsewhere, we have our home at Scotstoun, but one of the things we talk about is trying to inspire our community.
“That community isn’t just in Glasgow we’ve got a wide fanbase.
“I know they played in Perth before and to be able to go to Inverness is definitely good for Glasgow and for Scottish rugby to be able to extend to places they wouldn’t normally get to.
“We want to get some new people along who wouldn’t normally get to games, it also means people feel more connected to the team and hopefully that attracts them to come down and watch us at Scotstoun more often.”
The match will also tie in with Highland Rugby Club’s centenary celebrations, and Dobie – well aware of the growth at Canal Park in recent years – hopes Glasgow’s appearance will help inspire even more progress.
“Rugby is going from strength to strength in the Highlands and Inverness,” the 21-year-old enthused.
“Highland are growing massively and that’s good to see. When I started off at Highland Canal Park was a bit different to how it looks now which is good.
“It’s important to keep growing the game and I think there’s still a long way to go in terms of attracting new players and growing the game across the whole country.
“This is definitely a step in the right direction, the game is growing well in Inverness and hopefully this is the spark to keep it going.
“If there was no appetite for it I don’t think this game would be up in Inverness.
"What’s happened at Highland with the new clubhouse and pitch at Canal Park has been amazing. They have these centenary celebrations which will be great to be a part of with this game. Hopefully good numbers will come along.
“I think the appetite is growing and hopefully this can help grow that further.”
On a personal level for Dobie, who watched ICT play at the Caledonian Stadium as a child, it will be a full circle moment.
“Being able to get back home and play in Inverness, it’s pretty special,” he said.
“Obviously that’s where I started my rugby with Highland when I was seven or eight, so to be able to come back here is great.
“I’m only 21, and I’m only at the start of my fourth season with Glasgow, but it’s a nice moment to be able to get back up home and play closer to family and friends that I’ve got up there.”