Player shortage sees PSA pull out league

Hawick PSA's Burnfoot clubhouse
Hawick PSA's Burnfoot clubhouse

THERE will be no rugby played by Hawick PSA this season.

At a meeting this week it was decided that, due to a shortage of players, the Burnfoot-based outfit would be unable to fulfil its fixtures in the Borders Semi-Junior League.

However, every effort will be made to keep the club going with a view to possibly linking up
with Hawick Wanderers next season.

PSA president Billy McCracken told the Hawick News: “As it stands just now we’ll have to keep the club going, but on the rugby side there is nothing happening this season.”

It was hoped a link-up with Hawick RFC, where they would play matches and use the facilities at Mansfield Park, would encourage more players to join the PSA.

But Mr McCracken revealed that, despite their best efforts, they had only ten players signed up for the forthcoming season.

He said: “There’s nothing more we could do. This season they were going to be running out at Hawick, using their facilities and sometimes playing matches before Hawick played on a Saturday afternoon.

“It wasn’t costing them a penny but the boys just weren’t coming forward.”

He added: “For the last three seasons we’ve struggled to get 15 boys out. Credit to the players but last season there were times when we were going away without any subs.

“This year we only had ten players and we can’t put them out.

“They’re good lads and it’s only right we take this decision rather than leaving them humming and hawing every week about whether there would be a game.”

The PSA was founded in 1919 by D. Paterson, D. Stavert and Baillie A. J. Hislop as part of the Pleasant Sunday Afternoon organisation and is the oldest semi-junior club in Scotland.

The club has produced 20 Scotland internationals including Jock Beattie, Jim Renwick, Derek Turnbull, Alister Campbell and Nikki Walker.

Mr McCracken said the club, which is set to hold its annual general meeting on Tuesday night, wished to retain its turn to host the annual sevens tournament in April next year.