RHC Cougars are aiming to be celebrating setting a record winning sequence tomorrow.
The club, formed after an amalgamation between Royal High and Corstorphine nine years ago, have put together an unprecedented eight straight successes in either East Division One or the Edinburgh Shield.
Tomorrow, Cougars entertain Duns in the league and, according to Graham Duff, president throughout those nine years, it was a heavy defeat by those Borderers which sparked the winning run.
“We had started the season reasonably well, but the loss at Duns was close to being a disaster so far as our season was concerned.
“The players took it very hard and gave themselves a shake up, prompted by coach Steve Leckie, who is proving a major influence.
“Also, we took a decision to no longer bring in foreign players and instead rely on trying to bring through talent, although Bastien Chavagneux has arrived from France on his own volition and proved a real asset.
“The lesson we learned is that there was no substitute for continuity and sustainability.
“In cousins Euan and Stuart Morrison, we have unearthed a really useful centre partnership, while three Royal High School players who went off to Stewart’s Melville – Andrew Fraser, Andrew Statham and Alex Edmonstone – have returned. As well as coaching the first team Steve Leckie is our development office who has established strong links with Royal High School who provide our full back, Scott Simpson.”
Leckie says: “We had to satisfy various protocols to be able to field a schoolboy, but Scott is a big lad more than capable of playing senior rugby.
“Strengthened school links have been vital and extend to players’ breakfast together at 7am each Wednesday and finishing the day with a training session.”
Duff added: “Getting young players into the side is vital because in they are maturing earlier, but also walking away from the game a bit earlier at the other end of the age scale.”
Meanwhile, in the Edinburgh Regional Cup, both Edinburgh Accies, at home to Biggar, and Watsonians, who entertain Currie, are still pursuing the other final spot against Heriot’s on February 2.
Stand off Euan Bonner and hooker Michael Liness return for Accies.
Currie continue to field Malcolm Peacock, normally a back rower, on the wing.
Boroughmuir are also in action tomorrow at home to Stewart’s Melville, who are looking to build on a strong display against Heriot’s.
Unable to progress in the Cup, Muir have a vital premiership clash against Stirling County looming when they look to haul themselves off the foot of the table.
Sam Johnson comes in as ‘Muir scrum half, while Robert Cairns takes over full-back.