Hawick RFC have announced plans to create a 2nd XV in what the club says is a bid to “realistically compete for the BT Premiership”.
Speculation has been rife over the last few months that the proposal was imminent, and Greens president Ross Cameron this week emphasised that the return of a 2nd XV is, he believes, vital for the future of rugby in the town and the Hawick club itself, in light of the new challenges they are facing, the dawn of a semi-professional league and falling participation in the sport.
“I can confirm that Hawick RFC are restarting our 2nd XV as we feel it is in the best interests of the long-term success of the club,” said Cameron.
“We feel for Hawick to realistically compete for titles in the BT Premiership and continue to grow, the club needs to be able to pull from a bigger player pool and the 2nd XV is how we feel that can be achieved. To continue as a one-team club is simply no longer viable any more with the way the league is heading.”
The reintroduction of a Hawick 2nd XV adds to an already crowded group of teams in the town, with rumours circulating that amalgamation is a possibilityto balance the numbers. But Cameron stressed nothing has been decided, and confirmed discussions between local clubs on possible structural changes to rugby in the town had been ongoing for more than a year. He also said he is hopeful of making an announcement on the key features of the 2nd XV and other proposals in the near future.
He added: “It has been a lengthy process going on for more than a year now on how best to move forward with the sport in the town between all the clubs in Hawick and the Hawick Rugby Trust.
“There is still a lot of planning and negotiation to be conducted on how best to proceed, with 101 details still to be ironed out but everyone wants this to work.
“It has not been an easy process as there are a number of mixed feelings about the suggestions. Some are completely against them, which I respect, while others are resistant but recognise that change is needed.”
Cameron concluded: “It’s been a slow process to get to this point as there are a lot of strongly-held views about what the proposals include. However, that being said, everyone still has the best interests of Hawick rugby [at heart] and the hope is we will be able to announce something concrete in the coming weeks.”