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Highland hoping for big event on restart of rugby

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland’s director of rugby Iain Chisholm hopes to have the opportunity to stage a warm-up competition ahead of next season.

INV_Highland v Watsonians Rugby Aug 2019..Iain Chisholm watching to see who'll catch the ball he passed back..Picture: James MacKenzie.
INV_Highland v Watsonians Rugby Aug 2019..Iain Chisholm watching to see who'll catch the ball he passed back..Picture: James MacKenzie.

He had aimed to be back training this week but the restart date has been pushed back to Saturday, August 1 to fine tune the safety protocols that will be in place.

That includes breaking the squad up into four “houses” based on where they live.

Chisholm hopes Highland will be able to host other clubs for a festival of rugby of sorts before next season, but an intra-club competition is possible if not.

“Across our four houses we have players who are spread throughout our first team, second team and third team,” Chisholm explained.

“It’s going to be great experience for our first-team players trying to make our second team and third-team players better. It’s the same the opposite way around, the third team will be learning on the go.

“We want to look at having a ‘Restart Rugby’ competition between the four groups, because there are about 25 players in each of those houses.

“They will be training like a squad, and we’ll hopefully get the opportunity to invite other teams in.

“If it does come that we have to play inter-squad games, then it’s going to work out really well for us because we will get to see more of our players playing more rugby.

“We’re just trying to make the best of the situation that we’ve got, and it’s pretty exciting to be getting back.”

Making the most of their resources in pandemic conditions is something that Highland are trying to implement off the pitch too, with a couple of projects in the works could benefit people in and out of the club.

“We have an app being developed at the moment called Queue Jump, that’s through Gavin MacDonald who is a trustee of the club,” Chisholm added.

“People will be able to come and sit on the grass areas around the club, because our licence extends right the way throughout. They will be able to sit there, socially distanced of course, order their drink and that will be brought out to them.

“We’ve missed out on a lot of revenue over the last few months. It’s important that the club are able to support the programmes that we’re still delivering in the community, so Queue Jump is going to be really good.

“We’ve also just got our Highland Lottery going, which we’re working on with Our Lotto. This has come through Pitchero, our website provider, and I do think it’s really going to help us.”

Read today's full Highland News by clicking here.

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