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Club Captain’s Review

AH Committee

Hello Saints,

As we came into the new season there was plenty to be excited about. Varsity, as expected, dominated the focus of the club in the first few weeks back. The profile of the Scottish Varsity Matches is continuing to grow with Scottish rugby putting more time, effort and publicity into the games year on year. Unfortunately, despite a close 1st XV match, all 3 teams came out on the losing side but it was a great weekend nonetheless.

Preseason started in August, giving the squads 3 weeks to prepare prior to the start of term and then two weeks on top of that to get ready for Varsity. With a new Director of Rugby in the form of former Scotland hooker Scott Lawson. This preseason has brought a change in structure within the coaching staff and a new brand of rugby. Scott’s knowledge and insight will be incredibly important in the 1st XV’s strive for promotion next season.

The loss of some key members of the club to graduation last year left a big hole to fill but many of the younger members have stepped up to lead on and off the pitch throughout the Semester, including 2nd Year Will Wright who has captained the 3XV in what has been a difficult season for the team, after promotion last season. This has seen them battle against our 2nd XV in a particularly tough division. The 2nd XV managed to secure survival in the last couple of games.

One of the main challenges this year was sustaining all 4 teams week in, week out, but this is allowing the club to provide the platform for members to play whatever their aspirations and abilities. We are, first and foremost, a rugby club, but this structure does allow for the continuation of an important social aspect of the club. Injured 1st team player Charlie Davies has done a great job of running the social team, the Goats, who have put in some impressive performances. The Goats have seen quite a few new members join to play social rugby and come down to Madras rugby club on a Wednesday evening.

One of the highlights of the season came at the end, with the 7’s team playing at the birthplace of the shortened version of the game, in the Melrose 7s. With the help of 3 alumni, the team progressed through the 1st round and came up against the British Army. Despite a closer game than many expected, the Army came out on top. The team did themselves proud, finishing the match with only 5 players on the pitch due to injury. This proved to be a great social event for the club and we will be sure to return en masse in the future.

Despite some difficult results, the season had plenty of highlights for the club and we look forward to carrying those forward to next year, welcoming in a next crop of freshers and wishing those leavers who have given so much to the club over the past few years the best in the future.

We look forward to seeing you all back at Varsity in the new season.

Alex Hodgins

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