New season of league rugby kicks off in Kirkcaldy

Pictured above (from left) are Kenny Natrass, co-captain 2nd XV; Alison Massie, captain of the womens XV;  Mark Graham, co-captain 2nd XV;  Derek Harper, club secretary;  Andy King, general manager, Harry Fairbairn, Kirkcaldy; Jimmy Bonner, president, KRFC; Greg Wallace, co-captain 1st XV; Gavin McKenzie, co-captain 1st XV.
Pictured above (from left) are Kenny Natrass, co-captain 2nd XV; Alison Massie, captain of the womens XV; Mark Graham, co-captain 2nd XV; Derek Harper, club secretary; Andy King, general manager, Harry Fairbairn, Kirkcaldy; Jimmy Bonner, president, KRFC; Greg Wallace, co-captain 1st XV; Gavin McKenzie, co-captain 1st XV.

After last week’s cup games, the league rugby season begins in earnest this Saturday.

In a fixture oddity, Howe of Fife visit Beveridge Park (kick-off 3.00 p.m) just seven days after the teams met in Cupar in the BT National Cup.

Although Howe eventually emerged winners on that occasion after extra time Kirkcaldy will take comfort from their forward superiority for much of the game.

It was only after injuries began to take their toll in the extra 20 minutes that the Blues effort faded and gaps in defence grew larger.

Although Kirkcaldy are Howe’s oldest opponents, the Blues have never beaten Howe in a National competitive game even allowing for a 31 year gap in fixtures between the sides from 1980 to 2011 when they were in different divisions.

All runs of this kind have to end some time and Quintan Sanft will be hoping to get the league campaign off to a winning start.

After being relegated last spring Howe will be hoping to return to National 1 at the earliest opportunity and will present the Blues with a formidable challenge.

Selection problems loom for the Blues with a hefty injury from last week’s game and the unavailability of several players who will be attending a wedding.

However, with as many as nine players graduating from last season’s successful U18 team, the player pool is bigger than it has been for some time and some of these youngsters may well be in line for a league debut.

The Blues have secured BMW, Harry Fairbairn, as a main sponsor for the new season.