Melrose Rugby seeks to foster new community talent

Douglas Hardie
Douglas Hardie

Melrose Rugby Ltd’s recent annual general meeting was the last official duty for outgoing president Douglas Hardie.

Looking back over his tenure, he thanked volunteers and members for their continued support and handed over the reins to Douglas Brown for the next two years.

Grant Hogg was nominated as vice-president and will support Douglas in representing Melrose Rugby throughout the next two seasons.

Companysecretary Hugh Pollock congratulated and thanked Douglas Hardie and Gordon Chisholm for their many years of support and hard work at the club and at the Melrose Sevens, bestowing upon each of them the title of honorarylife member.

The Board of Directors stepped down, allowing resolutions to be successfully amended and voted in by the members, before being reappointed.

Chairman – Gordon Brown; vice-chairman – Andy Purves; secretary – Hugh Pollock; director of finance – Graeme Burgess; director of rugby – Mike Dalgetty; director of youth rugby – Michael Dalrymple; director of commerce – Phil Morris; director of communications – Mark Locke; director of health and safety – Jim Shepherd; director of facilities – Mike Bleasdale.

The new Board will continue its development programme, which it’s hoped shape and secure the future of the club for many years to come.

Some of these developments include the installation of a modern 3G community pitch, the launch of the Super 6 franchise and an enhanced Melrose Sevens tournament.

Chairman, Gordon Brown, said: “It is an honour to represent Melrose Rugby. It is one of the most dynamic and progressive clubs in Scottish rugby. This is an exciting time for the club as we start work on delivering some of our most ambitious projects.

“Our whole ethos is based around inclusivity, creating positive partnerships with other Borders organisations, schools and clubs, to promote health and well-being in the community and ensure our future players have an excellent start in life.

“With our drive to make our 1stXV more community based, we want to return to having first class home-grown players coming through the system and into our 1stXV.

“Our current academy system and strong partnership with Earlston High School continues to thrive, delivering some fantastic junior internationalists. These youngsters are going to be our stars and role models of the future.”

The club also announced last week that Melrose 1XV will play its opening game of the 2019-20 Tennent’s National League Division 1 campaign at its Annay Road pitch.

The surface, only a short walk from The Greenyards, will become the temporary home of the 1XV because of the installation of the community 3G sports pitch.

The first game is against Kelso on Saturday, September 7 and head coach Stuart Johnson said the club couldn’t wait to get started.

He told the club website: “It will be great to see the supporters come along and cheer the boys on and really get behind the team.”

The opening game will form part of the RBS Rugby Force Day, which is due to feature something for everyone, with a covered, seated grandstand should there be a need to hide from a September shower.

There will be a beer tent with live music throughout the day, the Beetle Juice Cocktail Trailer and Kowloon Kitchen and The Rolling Stove food stalls.

There will be something for the children too, with a bouncy castle and the P6 and P7 minis also playing Kelso at half time.