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Domestic rugby season cancelled due to impact of coronavirus restrictions

By Andrew Henderson

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Scottish Rugby’s decision to cancel the domestic 2020/21 season came as no surprise to Highland head coach Dave Carson.

Highland head coach Dave Carson. Picture: Gary Anthony
Highland head coach Dave Carson. Picture: Gary Anthony

With 20 local authority areas placed into levels three or four in the Scottish Government’s guidelines, full contact training is not permitted for a large proportion of clubs.

By extension, the possibility of friendly matches to build up to competitive matches in the new year continued to shrink, and the decision was taken to call off the campaign.

The SRU had already devised a one-year only programme, bringing regionalisation into account, which was due to begin in October before being pushed back to January.

Highland had already found that some players were staying away from training, prioritising their work and family lives instead, so this next step was something they had been anticipating.

“It was totally expected to be honest,” Carson admitted.

“Especially with the announcement on Tuesday that most of the central belt was going into tier four, it wasn’t really a surprise.

“I’m glad they’ve done it sooner rather than later so that we can decide what we’re going to do, and prepare the boys for next season basically.”

The new format that will no longer be taking place would have pitted Highland against Premiership opposition as well as teams from their own league, National One.

That does not mean the next few months will go to waste though, as Carson will be working hard to improve his squad.

“We were desperate to get going after we were locked down at the end of last season,” he said.

“We’ve got a great squad, some guys had come in and we were looking really strong. It’s one of these things, but we have to work the players and take some good out of it.”

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