Duns upbeat about future despite relegation from rugby’s Scottish East Region League Division 2

Duns head coach Richard Hume and his new assistant Hayden Martin (Photo: Duns Rugby Club)Duns head coach Richard Hume and his new assistant Hayden Martin (Photo: Duns Rugby Club)
Duns head coach Richard Hume and his new assistant Hayden Martin (Photo: Duns Rugby Club)
​Duns are hoping dropping down a level will end up working out for the best as they look to rebuild following their relegation from rugby’s Scottish East Region League Division 2 this year.

​The Dingers finished bottom of the table last time out, on four points from 14 fixtures, after winning only one game all season, by 59-12 at home to Livingston in October, leading to a drop down a division along with second-from-bottom Hawick Linden.

Duns and Linden’s demotion means Borderers will account for half of the eight teams in their new league as they join Gala YM and Earlston in going up against Edinburgh Northern, Edinburgh University Medics, Lismore and Inverleith.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Castle Park club are looking forward to taking on mostly-unfamiliar opposition in a new setting, hoping it will benefit them as they look to get back to winning ways for the first time in what will be approaching a year come the start of next season in almost three months’ time.

Hayden Martin, pictured in on-field action captaining Duns in 2016, has taken over from Chip Brailsford as the club's assistant coach (Photo: Kimberley Powell)Hayden Martin, pictured in on-field action captaining Duns in 2016, has taken over from Chip Brailsford as the club's assistant coach (Photo: Kimberley Powell)
Hayden Martin, pictured in on-field action captaining Duns in 2016, has taken over from Chip Brailsford as the club's assistant coach (Photo: Kimberley Powell)

Head coach Richard Hume is backing his side to bounce back following a coaching rejig this summer, telling Borders Rugby TV: “I always knew it was going to be a challenge.

“With a very youthful team and lack of numbers, it was always going to be a test.

“We’re down in East 3 now and that’s definitely where the club don’t want to be, but we’ll work on that, and the way the boys turned things around on and off the pitch at the end of last season, with the commitment and effort getting put in, you could just see there was a big change and a big upturn in morale.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’m looking forward to next season and the challenges of what lies ahead.

“There are times you maybe have to go down to rebuild and restructure and that’s what we’ve done.

“Everything’s looking positive. There are boys who’ve come through from our colts and got a taste of senior rugby when they came of age and they’ve taken to it like ducks to water.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge that lies in front of us – we’ll take it up, grasp it and move on.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hayden Martin replaces Chip Brailsford as assistant coach and Hume but captain Scott Millar and vice-skipper Aaron Mitchell will carry on as they were.

Millar shares his head coach’s optimistic outlook, adding: “No club want to move down a league but I think it’ll benefit us as we rebuild.

“There’s a real buzz about the club and we’re looking forward to a new challenge.

“We really started playing as a team at the end of last season, showing some real grit and determination, and a lot of the boys have still got ten years-plus of rugby to play, so I’m excited to see what they can do in this league now that they’ve all got a bit more experience, and I think we’ll be really competitive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“There seems to be some real excitement about the club despite our circumstances and I’m really looking forward to pulling my boots on again and leading a great bunch of lads out onto the field.”

Duns begin their next campaign away to Edinburgh Uni Medics on on Saturday, September 7.

Their first home game of next term is a Borders derby against Linden seven days later and they’ll be looking to make amends after losing out to the Teries twice over last campaign, by 25-22 at home in September and by 23-0 on the road in November.

Hume’s team are back in the capital for round three of next season on Saturday, September 21, to take on Edinburgh Northern, and that’s followed by another derby at the end of the month, hosting Earlston.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As things stand and postponements permitting, the Dingers are scheduled to conclude their league season at home to Inverleith on Saturday, January 25.

All those games kick off at 3pm except their season finale, that one starting an hour earlier.

Related topics: