Highland want quick decision over the new rugby campaign
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Highland Rugby Club want to know in the next couple of weeks if their season can proceed as planned.
League programmes for the 2020/21 campaign are set to kick off on Saturday, October 31 with full fixture lists confirmed, but with the prospect of guidelines becoming stricter as the pandemic progresses, there is no guarantee clubs will return to action this month.
As things stand, friendlies can go ahead in the two weeks before competitive action returns.
But Highland’s director of rugby, Iain Chisholm, would ideally like to know before then if the league will have to be pushed back, but he knows those decisions are out of his hands.
“If things haven’t moved to the next stage, we’re hoping we’ll be told not to play, or we’re going to be proactive as a club and say we’re not in a position to do this yet,” Chisholm explained.
“We’ve never really had those discussions yet, we spent a long time looking well into the future at the various possibilities.
“I’m really hopeful that tomorrow we would get an announcement to say we’ll just start it in January, but I know that’s not going to happen.
“A lot of guys who are important to the success of our sides are saying they will prioritise work and family.
“They’ll see us when there’s either a vaccine or they don’t have to self-isolate, and I completely and utterly understand that.
“So I would very much like to know by October 17 whether the season is going to go ahead, but I know that we’re going to know when Scottish Rugby knows. They have been brilliant at relaying messages so far, so we’ll just take it as it comes.”
Part of Chisholm’s role in recent months has been to make Canal Park as safe as it can be for training, with Highland taking a zero-tolerance policy to anyone who puts themselves at risk.
“We need to have confidence that they can come to training without having to isolate, but there’s no guarantee,” Chisholm said.
“We can’t tell them they definitely won’t catch the virus at the club. The measures we have are there to minimise the risk, but if you can’t afford to take two weeks off work, don’t go to where people are is the message.
“If you want to go to a house party, we’ll see you in two weeks. If we catch you on social media all over people at the pub, we’ll see you in two weeks, because we have to be seen to be going above and beyond.”