Madras take first steps towards return

Madras are on route to a competitive return.
Madras are on route to a competitive return.

Madras Rugby Club is on the road to recovery and has laid out plans to ensure a swift return to action.

Last week we reported on the club’s decision to pull out of its Midlands Division Two campaign due to a shortage of players.

The decision leaves the club, obviously, with no league fixtures to play, but those behind the scenes have made it clear they intend to return next term in the division below.

Work has now started on getting the club back on its feet, with president Craig Bones, players and coaches meeting with representative from the Scottish Rugby Union on Tuesday night.

The talks, Mr Bones says, were frank, and gave Madras a clear steer on how to ensure top level rugby returns to St Andrews next term.

The president said the focus has to be on creating a larger pool of local players to add to its Armed Forces membets who may be called away.

“What came out of the meeting was that the club needs stability and a structure in place for next season,” said Mr Bones.

“We’ll sit down with the SRU again and show them that we have a clear coaching structure in place but there’s also an emphasis on the players in terms of recruitment.”

North east Fife has a long and strong tradition with its club rugby, but Mr Bones feels some talented players are maybe slipping through the net.

In a bid to get numbers up, the club aims to forge strong links with the area’s schools to attract the best senior players to Madras.

“Where are all the players going who play under 18 rugby for the school?” said the Madras president.

“It’s about keeping them involved in the sport.

“Yes some of them will go off to university, but we want to get the others along to the club and say to them that once you start playing rugby at this level, the friendships and the enjoyment follows.

“We’re spreading the word to come down and play rugby.”

The next step in the club’s recovery will be to implement a coaching structure before the club meets with the SRU again in April.