Match will be as friendly as it gets between bitter rivals Hawick and Gala

Greens captain Greg Cottrell is preparing to lead the side out tomorrow against Gala
Greens captain Greg Cottrell is preparing to lead the side out tomorrow against Gala

PHIL Leck has revealed that tomorrow may be the closest Hawick and Gala have ever come to contesting a proper friendly match.

But the Greens coach (inset) is still looking to win the “training” encounter.

The two sides square up at Mansfield Park to contest four periods of 20 minutes as they prepare for the kick off of their respective league cam-paigns later this month.

Leck told the Hawick News: “It’s a training game. They’ll fetch a lot of players and we’ll fetch a lot of players.

“It’s not the derby of the season. Both coaches have things they need to finalise this week in game situations and both sides know exactly what the score is.

“I never play friendlies but it’s for the benefit of both clubs to try different things out.”

Hawick have lost several players over the summer including captain Bruce McNeil and young prop Rory Sutherland, to Biggar; while Michael Robertson has joined Kelso.

But their ranks have been boosted by several players who have stepped up from Hawick YM.

And Leck admitted there was plenty of reason to be optimistic.

He added: “We’re not going to be the biggest side to take the park but we’ve been working really hard.
“We’ll play the same sort of rugby we played in the second half of last season where we won 14 out of 18 games.”

Meanwhile, new club captain Greg Cottrell admitted this week to a few nerves as he prepares to lead the side out at Mansfield Park for the first time. However, he said: “I think it’s good to have a few nerves. It shows you care about the match and the passion is there.”

And he is another who believes tomorrow’s encounter will be about more than just a training exercise for both sides.

He added: “I don’t think there’s ever such a thing as a friendly in rugby. We might be rotating things a little and trying different things, but it’s a match against Gala so there will still be a competitive edge to it.

“They got the better of us last season so it would be good to win.”