Hawick PSA have made a last-ditch plea for help as the club faces the prospect of being unable to field a team for this tomorrow’s opening match.
One of Scotland’s oldest semi-junior rugby clubs, the PSA is appealing to supporters to help tackle an acute shortage of players – a problem which also surfacedthis time last year, before the club rallied and was able to fullfil its fixtures.
The Burnfoot-based outfit is also calling on former players and members to do what they can to ensure the club secures its place in the league this season.
A failure to do so, and president Billy McCracken admitted to the Hawick News this week that they wouldn’t be able kick off their campaign away to Kelso Harlequins.
McCracken said: “The player numbers are an issue, a big issue that has put this club in trouble again.
“It is not something we didn’t think would happen but there is just not enough boys to go around in the Borders and we have come off worse than anyone else.
“We have been trying our best to get a team together all pre-season who can take the field but it is going to take knocking on doors otherwise we will not be in a position to put a side out.”
McCracken added: “If we manage to get a group together to play on Saturday then we are going to have to monitor the numbers and make sure we have enough lads every Saturday, but long-term it is not sustainable.”
With participation in rugby across the country declining, PSA will only be among the first wave of clubs to find themselves in dire straits, according to McCracken.
“The commitment and desire of the boys who want to take up rugby now is not where it once was and I think clubs around the country are in similar situations to us.
“Lads have a lot more going on in their lives and once where rugby was the number one thing it is now far down their list.
“This is only the beginning, unless more lads start to take up the game or clubs make a move to stop this, there will be a lot more in similar situations to us.”