The new rugby season is still a fortnight away but already Heriot’s have a trophy on the sideboard.
To commemorate the fact that, during World War 1, 26 young Serbian refugees were evacuated to Edinburgh and educated at George Heriot’s School, the rugby club received an invite to a sevens tournament in Belgrade. And after seeing off opponents from Romania, Austria, Croatia and Serbia, Heriot’s returned clutching a trophy while two under-16 teams also played games during the visit and also won silverware.
Tour captain Stewart Mustard says the success is a boost ahead of the new season. “One of the great things about the trip was the chance to integrate some up-and-coming prospects such as Chris Mulligan and Alan Haynes alongside more experienced campaigners such as Gregor Lawson and myself,” he said.
“We played three ties on each of Saturday and Sunday followed by a final against our hosts, RK Pobednik, and the standard got gradually better. Another spin-off is the strong possibility of a trip to Romania next summer because of the contacts made in Serbia.”
One problem Heriot’s had to overcome was the heat, with temperatures ranging from 39-42˚C. Mustard added: “With pitches brick hard, there were plenty of cuts and grazes but it isn’t every season you get an opportunity to play rugby in Serbia. Our trophy will be on display for visitors to Goldenacre to see in the new season.”