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Format to be decided for Scottish club rugby campaign


By Andrew Henderson

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Highland Rugby Club could be set to find out what their 2020/21 season will look like.

Rugby..Highland v Watsonians..Gordon Gregor on the move for Highland..Picture: Gary Anthony..
Rugby..Highland v Watsonians..Gordon Gregor on the move for Highland..Picture: Gary Anthony..

Clubs across the country were due to submit their preferences to Scottish Rugby on Monday, with three options seemingly on the table that would affect Highland.

None of them would resemble a normal National One campaign, with regionalisation coming into play to minimise the amount of travelling teams would have to do.

It is hoped that clubs will be able to play friendly games between first and second teams from the start of October, with competitive action following suit on October 31.

Before those dates can be finalised though, the format needs to be decided, and Highland head coach Dave Carson will be pleased to get rugby back, regardless of how it comes about.

“I think there were three options – there was a joint Premiership One and National One mini-league, ending in a final,” he explained.

“Option two was National One getting split into two leagues, playing each other home and away and every team from the other league once.

“The third option was something more regional, where we would be involved with Stirling, Dundee and Aberdeen Grammar, also leading to some sort of final day.

“The second team will take care of themselves in the Caley Leagues; they will be playing teams in Caley North Two as well as Caley One, so they will have better quality games than they normally would against the likes of Orkney and Garioch in Caley One, which is great for them.

“We just needed to get some good fixtures for the firsts too. These options all look like we’re going to get some good rugby out of it.”

The reality of being based in Inverness is that a trip to Aberdeen or Dundee is not all that different to heading to Glasgow or Edinburgh for Carson’s men.

He therefore wanted to ensure that the Canal Park side were not left out of the equation during discussions.

“The Borders could have their own strong, competitive set up with the teams down there, but that obviously wouldn’t include us,” Carson added.

“We were making the point that we need to be thought about up here, we need something competitive for our first team as well.

“Our first team couldn’t play other teams in the Highlands and Islands, that wouldn’t be fair on anyone.”

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