Friendlies showing signs of Highland’s growth
Highland Rugby Club head coach Dave Carson feels the standard of friendlies the club have been able to organise shows the impact they are making on Scottish rugby.
The Greens have pre-season matches lined up against Premiership outfits Marr and Edinburgh Academicals on Saturday, August 10 and Saturday, August 17 respectively.
But the newly-promoted National One side had to turn other requests to play down such was the interest in facing Highland.
A bonus for Carson is that both matches will take place in Inverness at Canal Park, and he says that shows the progress the club has made in recent years.
“It’s great, once you’ve had a bit of success you don’t have to travel – people want to come and see you,” Carson laughed.
“Previously we’ve always tried to get difficult friendlies against teams up above us. But we’ve always had to travel.
“Now we’ve got those two, plus there were three other clubs from National One and the Premiership who wanted to come up.
“It’s nice to be recognised like that and we’re obviously doing something right before people realise they’re going to get a decent pre-season game against us.”
Carson has also seen a couple of familiar faces join the squad ahead of the new season.
Hugo Crush and Jack Sutherland both came through the youth groups at Highland, before moving away for university to Hamilton and Aberdeen.
Both men played a high standard of rugby while elsewhere, but are now back at Canal Park.
That gives Carson even more options in what was an already competitive squad.
“They’ve been at the club all their days junior-wise, then they’ve gone away and played a decent standard of rugby,” Carson added.
“The biggest thing is that it’s going to be more competition, so boys are going to have to play really well and train really well every week to maintain their place in the first team. These boys will definitely be pushing for a start.”