Borders clubs delighted at revival of competitive rugby

Borders clubs have responded with delight to Scottish Rugby’s announcement this week that a national competitive league structure is coming back in season 2021-22.

Clubs such as Gala (in maroon) and Selkirk could be in action again by early September (library image by Grant Kinghorn)
Clubs such as Gala (in maroon) and Selkirk could be in action again by early September (library image by Grant Kinghorn)

Consultation with clubs and schools across the country, involving its rugby d evelopment department, board, council and championship committee, focused on two season structure proposals to restart competitive rugby once the Scottish Government’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions have eased.

Option A was a national league structure with promotion and relegation, and option B was a regional league structure with no promotion or relegation.

More than 250 responses were returned, with 63 per cent of clubs and schools choosing option A. It was then recommended that the Tennent’s leagues for men and women, along with youth and school conferences, go forward in September 2021.

Further details agreed by the board and council, following discussions with the championship committee, included fixture rescheduling as a consequence of any future restrictions imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

More details are available on the Scottish Rugby website, with the news being broadly welcomed by clubs in the Borders.

Selkirk president Jim Harold simply said the club are “delighted”, and his opposite number at Gala, Ian Dalgleish, expressed similar sentiments.

“Gala are delighted that the Scottish Rugby Union has finally been able to confirm a formal return to competitive rugby in September,” he said.

“That will be a break of over 18 months since the last competitive game of club rugby, and I am sure all our players, coaches, volunteers, officials and club members will be looking forward to that date.

“At Gala Rugby, we have already planned to have our twice-delayed Maroon'[email protected] community rugby sevens event, with music and street food, on Saturday, August 21.”

A Hawick Linden representative said the news was likely to be particularly pleasing for all at Volunteer Park, given that 2021-22 would be the club's centenary season.

“To to get back to playing competitive rugby is warmly welcomed by both coaches and players, particularly in such a momentous season for the club,” he added.