The familiar tales of hope and optimism that attend Hawick RFC annually as a new season approaches are swirling around the town, but head coach Nikki Walker is cooling those expectations ahead of tomorrow’s Premiership opener against Melrose.
Walker is erring on the side of caution ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, but the past ten months have seen the Greens regularly exceed all expectations. and they may well do so again this term.
“We did well last season, in some cases overachieved, but it’s a new season and we have a long way to go and work to do if we are to achieve what we are capable of in 2015,” said Walker.
“Heading into this season, Hawick rugby is on an upward curve after a few years down. We have a good squad, which is more or less the same as last year with a couple of additions, that is more than capable of competing with the top teams.
“The club turned a corner last season, finishing strongly. So it’s understandable expectations will be high, but for us this is only our third year back in the Premiership and the club is still in a bit of a transition, so we’ll be taking each week as it comes.”
While Walker is refusing to set targets for his charges, he is is excited about the return of league action this weekend against last season’s Premiership runners-up (kick-off 1.15pm).
“Melrose will be one of those teams at the end of the year who will be fighting for a top-four place, so to get them early will be a good test and the boys are fired up.
“They’re a top team and we are probably viewed as underdogs but we know if we play to our abilities and stick to our structures, then I see no reason why we can’t start the new season the right way on Saturday with a victory.”
n Hawick 2nds get their National Reserve League Two campaign under way tomorrow (Saturday) by welcoming Cartha Queen’s Park to Mansfield Haugh (kick-off 1pm).