Greens go Dutch with new rugby twinning initiative

THEY may be known as the Greens, but Hawick could be about to go orange in the future.

The Mansfield Park outfit have struck up a twinning arrangement with Dutch Rugby Union side RFC Haarlem.

And one of their players, 22-year-old scrum-half/stand-off Ingmar Van Hemert, who featured in Saturday’s friendly against Gala, could be the first of many to appear on these shores.

Twinning coordinator Ken Wright revealed the partnership came about after contacting Greens secretary John Thorburn, with help from the Bill McLaren Foundation.

He told the Hawick News: “Our intention is to cement this link-up. Everybody we’ve met has been so open and warm.

“I think there were maybe questions over the standard of Dutch rugby and if the gap would be too big but from what I’ve picked up they’ve (Hawick) been pleasantly surprised by the commitment and desire Ingmar has to be a better player and I wouldn’t have brought him over if I didn’t think he was capable of stepping up to this level.”

RFC Haarlem were founded in 1980 when the clubs Kinheim, from Haarlem, and HBC, from Heemstede, joined forces.

Last year the club, which has 200 members, a youth section and first and second teams, suffered relegation to the third division.

Mr Wright added: “It would be our intention to send players across who could aspire to playing for Hawick but start by playing with some of the other teams in the town and working their way up hopefully.”