Blues preparing for the new national league rugby season

George Mangalo in action for Kirkcaldy last season. Pic: Michael Booth
George Mangalo in action for Kirkcaldy last season. Pic: Michael Booth

Pre-season training has been in progress for five weeks now at Kirkcaldy Rugby in preparation for the new season.

The 1st XV campaign kicks off on August 27 with a home tie in the first round of the BT National Cup against Haddington.

For much of the last month training sessions have been combined with lung-bursting cardio sessions on the pitch at Beveridge Park and strength and conditioning at Fitness Pacific at Mitchelston.

Now that August is here the ball will be much more evident as the big kick-off approaches. Considering this is the holiday period for most players training has been well attended. A plethora of new faces have bolstered numbers with players returning to the club and others joining from other sides.

Unlike past seasons, pre-season has been a whole club affair with the club’s lady players as well as under 18s and 16s all involved in various activities.

Having retained their status in National League 2 with a creditable top six finish the Blues will be anxious to improve upon that when the league campaign begins on September 3 with an away game against Aberdeenshire.

With the changes involved in promotion and relegation this division looks to be considerably stronger this time round.

Two Border sides, Kelso and Peebles, dropped down from National 1 while West of Scotland and GHK have come up from the third division.

West, once giants of the Scottish game, have endured a torrid time in recent seasons but seem to have recovered momentum while GHK were Kirkcaldy’s conquerors in last season’s BT Cup.

Having looked certainties for relegation from Caledonia (Midlands) 2 for the bulk of last season Kirkcaldy 2nds staged a remarkable recovery to win a string of games at the back end of the end of the campaign.

Their season begins on September 3 with a home game against Panmure.

Pre-season match action begins this Saturday with one group of players taking part in the Waid 10s at Anstruther and another facing Midlands side Carnoustie at Beveridge Park (kick of 3.00 p.m).

The following week senior players will be involved in Livingston RFC’s 15-a-side tournament.

This build up concludes on August 20 with the 1st XV playing Howe of Fife at Cupar and the 2nd XV entertaining Gordonians 1st XV.