Cook vents dual-registration anger

Rugby news
Rugby news

FORMER Hawick YM president Roy Cook has launched a stinging attack on the system of dual-registered players following the Redskins’ second heavy defeat in as many weeks at the hands of Howe of Fife.

An already depleted YM side was hit with more injuries and call-offs ahead of Saturday’s RBS Championship ‘B’ clash, and travelled to Duffus Park with only 16 players. However, Cook, also a YM life member, felt that the squad situation could have been avoided, and in a letter to the Hawick News on Monday, he cast doubt over the commitment of the Greens’ dual-registered players.

He wrote: “I am writing regarding Hawick YM’s last two games against Howe of Fife. First game we had two dual-registered Hawick players, Jake Evens and Liam Launders. On Saturday at Howe, only Liam played, despite the YM team manager [Dan Deans] calling and texting all our dual-registered players. With Hawick not having
a game you would think the players would want to play or told to play.

“We had to go with one sub and lost a player who was hospitalised. So much for dual-registration.”

Hawick and Hawick YM share several dual-registered players who are available to turn out for both sides.

The rules allow players from larger clubs, such as Hawick, to effectively loan a player to an associate club, in this case Hawick YM, enabling them to gain valuable playing experience, returning from injury or to fill in for low numbers.

Issues can arise when players are not told of their associate club selection or in some cases are unwilling to drop down and play for a lower division club.

Responding to Cook’s critical letter, Hawick president Rory Bannerman told the Hawick News: “We have had an excellent relationship with the YM for over a year or so now and obviously this situation was just a breakdown in communication.

“I know a lot of the boys were away for the weekend as we had no scheduled game and our coach was away with the club international side, with one of the dual-registered players.

“It is not ideal having to text or phone players to check availability for games and I think
better planning is needed next time.

“I don’t want these sorts of situations to destroy any bridges that have been built over the years between the two clubs, but I think better communication between the sides can lead to this being avoided in the future.”