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Ross Sutherland Rugby club are having second thoughts

By Andrew Henderson

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Ross Sutherland have plans to enter a second team into the Caledonia North leagues – but it will not happen next season.

Ross Sutherland's David Gill braces himself for a challenge against Moray. Picture: Peter Carson
Ross Sutherland's David Gill braces himself for a challenge against Moray. Picture: Peter Carson

The Invergordon club have been testing the waters by organising friendlies for a second XV, called the Wildcats, over the last year.

Any new team would enter the Scottish Rugby pyramid in Caledonia North Four, but club president John Scott says a competitive Wildcats team will have to wait until the 2021/22 season.

“We’ve spoken to the SRU about it, and when the time is right we’ll progress that further,” Scott said.

“We feel that another year of building up our numbers and getting friendlies played is the way we want to go, with a view to maybe making an application for the next year.

“We think player numbers are looking quite good for next year, but we don’t want to over-commit.

“Some of the guys have played for the Wildcats, they are guys who just can’t commit to playing first-team rugby. That’s why they’re there, they’re not inferior players by any means.

“I think calling them the Wildcats links well with our Ross and Sutherland heritage. We’ve got decent numbers I think, there’s a lot of young players that have come through the ranks into the senior team.”

As well as forming a second team, Ross Sutherland are also hoping to complete work on their redeveloped clubhouse at the Naval Grounds soon.

But those are not the only areas the Stags are looking to improve, as efforts to help the club progress keep stepping up.

“In terms of what we’re doing in the community, rugby development is massive for us,” Scott said.

“We’re going to change our focus, we’re looking to take on a business development manager,

We were going to interview for that before coronavirus put a stop to everything. Hopefully we’ll get that process started up again soon.

“Running two teams is important, so is continuing to develop girls’ and ladies’ rugby, and making the club really open to all.

“We want to grow our support base, people that could come along and get involved in watching the game and volunteering, just being a part of what is going to be a fantastic venue and clubhouse once it’s finished.

“There’s a really exciting announcement coming soon, but it’s through Scottish Rugby. We’re just trying to make sure next season will be good, putting a plan in place.”

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