McNeil and Sutherland move onto Biggar stage

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GREENS captain Bruce McNeil has brought to an end a near-decade at Mansfield Park by joining big-spending Biggar – and has followed to Hartreemill by promising Teri youngster Rory Sutherland.

The pair’s decision to join Hawick’s National League rivals Biggar ahead of the new season comes as a double-blow to Greens boss Phil Leck, who says his side’s strong finish to the past campaign ensured his stars would attract the attention of other clubs.

The departure of McNeil, originally from Stranraer, brings to an end a nine-year stint at the Greens that was diluted only by a short spell at Edinburgh Rugby and Heriot’s. He told the Hawick News he will welcome the chance to “freshen things up”.

“I just wanted pastures new and financially it suited me as the best option,” said McNeil, a farm worker at Kelso.

“It was a big decision to leave Hawick. It’s a great club and the boys down there would do anything for you. But for my family and myself it was right to move. I wish them all the best, that goes without saying. But this is a new challenge for me, a chance to freshen things up and progress my game.”

McNeil’s fellow forward Rory Sutherland, a former Scotland under-19 international who will turn 20 this summer, leaves the Greens after just a year at the club. He said: “I wish Hawick the best of luck this season in everything they do.”