Borders rugby reserve league making comeback after 13-year absence
Dating back to 1906, it was last contested in 2010, Gala A winning that time round.
It’s being reintroduced for the 2023/24 season to replace last term’s Tennent’s East Reserve League divisions 1, 2 and 3 to cut the amount of travelling required by players involved and try to reduce the number of games called off.
Because of the odd number of teams taking part, one will have to sit out each round, that being the Souters’ reserves first time out.
The three fixtures lined up for the revived league’s opening weekend, all kicking off at 3pm, see Gala hosting Peebles, Hawick at home to Melrose and Kelso on the road at Jed.
As things stand, postponements permitting, the league will wrap up on Saturday, December 2, with Jed hosting Hawick, Kelso at home to Gala and Selkirk away to Melrose, all at 2pm.
Hawick, Melrose and Selkirk played in east regional division 1 last time round, travelling to Edinburgh, Musselburgh and Biggar, and they ended up fifth, sixth and second bottom of their table respectively.
Kelso, Peebles, Gala and Jed were in division 2, involving trips to Linlithgow, Edinburgh and Midlothian. Kelso ended up top of the table, with Peebles fifth, Gala sixth and Jed eighth.
The only Borderers in division 3 were Walkerburn – up against opposition from Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian – and they finished tenth out of 12 teams.
Welcoming the return of the regional contest, a Border league spokesperson said: “On behalf of our member clubs, we held constructive discussions with the Scottish Rugby Union over the last six months and they have led to this exciting outcome.
“The new league is fully supported by the SRU.
“The primary driver for reintroducing the league is to reduce the number of unfulfilled games, unfortunately a regular occurrence in the previous national league arrangements.
“The Border junior league will significantly reduce the distance teams need to travel for games and, with all teams having floodlights, increase their ability to agree to play games midweek.
“All participating clubs are hoping that these new arrangements will assist in both sustaining player retention and developing player recruitment.”
Fixtures and results can be found at https://fixtures.scottishrugby.org/club-rugby