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Ross Sutherland excited to get back in touch with playing rugby

By Andrew Henderson

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Ross Sutherland’s touch rugby tournament will provide a welcome return to some form of competitive action.

Ross Sutherland head coach John Mann looks to wrong-foot his marker against HMS Prince of Wales. Picture: Peter Carson
Ross Sutherland head coach John Mann looks to wrong-foot his marker against HMS Prince of Wales. Picture: Peter Carson

The first round of matches took place last night with the club split into six regional teams – similar to the March into May fundraiser.

No competitive rugby has been played in Invergordon since the pandemic hit, but with contact now permitted again the touch competition will provide a much-needed break to the monotony of limited training.

“For the seniors, this is the first time we’re able to play touch rugby,” development officer (DO) John Mann said.

“Since mid-December, it has been socially distanced fitness.

“I think people are just excited to be able to get back to trying to do something different, and having a bit of competition on top of that will help as well.

“The club players are already chomping at the bit to get back into it, because I think everyone has had enough of just doing running and training at home.

“On a personal note I’m pretty excited. I haven’t been able to play touch for a while, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Touch rugby is a regular part of the Stags’ summer schedule.

This format of a tournament, though, is something a little different with each side having a designated captain, and competing over 10 weeks of matches before a final.

March into May drew plenty of support as people jumped at the opportunity to get involved, and Mann hopes to see a similar effect on the numbers taking part over the coming weeks.

“We’ve always done some kind of touch rugby over the summer, just for people who don’t have a summer sport to keep them active and keep the social side of things going,” Mann added.

“This year, especially after the success of March into May with the regional set up, I thought it would be quite good fun to bring that into our touch rugby.

“At the moment it looks like numbers are going to be pretty even. Obviously your bigger areas are going to have a few more people, but kicking off this week it looks like everyone is going to have full squads, which is pretty good.

“If people make it every week, good on them. It’s more about making it when you can, there’s no pressure to be there every single week.”

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