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Plans are in place for Highland Rugby Club to return to training

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland Rugby Club are finally set to return to training next week after four months away from the sport.

David Hume has been appointed as the club’s Covid-19 officer to oversee the safety measures brought in as players return to Canal Park next Tuesday.

Players have been separated into four “houses” based on where they live, and only one house will be allowed to train at any time. They will then be divided into smaller groups to adhere to social distancing rules.

Each house will have their own area to park in when arriving at the club, and before even getting out of their car they will have their temperature taken and told to go home if it is too high.

Highland Rugby Club have plans in place to facilitate a return to training next week. Picture: Gary Anthony
Highland Rugby Club have plans in place to facilitate a return to training next week. Picture: Gary Anthony

No kit will be shared between houses, sanitising points have been set up and a one-way system will be in place – with part of the junior training pitch even cordoned off to make it work.

Sessions will be kept shorter at a limit of 40 minutes, only making use of the grass pitches, to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to train.

It will not just be the senior squad who are returning to training either, as it is expected that all the age groups in Highland’s youth system will be back in some form of training from the week starting July 20.

The club’s director of rugby, Iain Chisholm, has been encouraged by the responses of players who are desperate to get back on the pitch in any way they can, saying it is an exciting time for Highland.

“We’re pretty lucky to be getting back to training, so the guys have bought into the idea that when we’re done, we leave through the one-way system,” Chisholm explained.

“We won’t be sharing equipment outside of our pod, we won’t linger around or speak to any other people, we will just leave straight away.

“At that point, another training house will have arrived and been checked, it’s a bit like a conveyor belt. We will train in sets of six, eight, 10 or 12, depending on the guidelines.

“It’s all pretty exciting to get back going, we’re looking ahead to what things could look like in August, September and October.

“We’re not entirely sure how the junior training is going to work yet because some age groups are massive.

“It’s more of a mental health exercise right now than it actually being about the rugby.”

Read the full edition of today's Highland News here.

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