Rugby: Boroughmuir agree new direction after root and branch review

BOROUGHMUIR Rugby Football Club’s members have taken a bold step in a bid to ensure a bright future by voting for a new direction to be taken at Meggetland – with the hope for the facilities there to become a home for all community sport in southwest Edinburgh.

While the players were putting in their final preparations for this afternoon’s RBS Premier A opener at Currie on Thursday evening, members packed in to the clubhouse to hear the outcome of a root and branch review of the club by sports and leisure consultancy PMR Leisure.

The committee of Boroughmuir had asked for the review to be undertaken in a bid to enhance the future of a club that has been in existence since 1919.

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The members present backed PMR Leisure’s vision for the future, for the club “to be the heart of a sustainable community sports club driving rugby success, sporting participation and performance across all ages and gender within our community”.

This will take a lot of hard work from members and a new Board which is to be elected to lead the project.

Boroughmuir chairman Bill Watson said: “Since the AGM at the end of May, we have been looking at ways to move the club forward and we brought PMR and Penny Lochhead on board. There is no doubt that sport and sports clubs have changed greatly over the years and we were keen to look at new approaches as to how best run the club.

“I was delighted by the turn out of around 120 members to this week’s meeting and, after listening to the vision, just about all gave full of backing for the way ahead. It is exciting times.”

The club aims to develop its community partnerships with other core users of the Meggetland facilities, such as Boroughmuir Hockey Club, Cala Hockey Club and Boroughmuir Thistle Football Club.

Boroughmuir will also become a full member of the Colinton Sports Hub and offer to take the lead as the main sporting social venue available for all hub clubs.

Important too is the need to develop a funding plan for both sponsors and grant aid funders to support the growth of the club. A working party is now to be set up and led by former Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Watson as things move forward in the coming months.

On the field today, ‘Muir head to Currie with Edinburgh pro Lewis Niven released to play for them. Harry Leonard is also available, meaning he starts at stand-off with Ally Warnock at full-back.

Head coach Fergus Pringle said: “We are looking to climb the league in the second part of the season. This will be the third time we have met Currie this term and it will be a hard physical game that the guys are looking forward to.”

Currie have been boosted by the news that Mark Cairns has come through a late fitness test and is fit enough to be on the bench. However, top try scorer Barry Mansfield and Scotland Sevens man Dougie Fife miss out.

The match of the day in the top eight sees leaders Melrose welcome third-placed Dundee HSFP to the Greenyards. MelRose got back to winning ways last week in the RBS Border Regional Cup against Peebles after losses to Gala and Selkirk over the festive period. They also lost 17-13 today’s opponents in October at Mayfield, but are glad to have Fraser Thomson back at full-back.

The Taysiders have gone about their business in an efficient fashion this term and they have pro Rob Dewey in to boost their backline, but James Fleming was withdrawn last night due to a slight injury.

Second-placed Gala face a tough trip to the Granite City to face Alex Duncan’s Aberdeen Grammar side, with the latter able to call upon Edinburgh’s experienced hooker Andrew Kelly.

Ayr and Stirling County complete the top eight fixtures at Millbrae.

In RBS Premier B Hawick will be looking to get off to a good start at home to Stewart’s Melville. Elsewhere, Glasgow Hawks take on Hamilton, Jed-Forest welcome Edinburgh Accies and Watsonians face Heriot’s in an Edinburgh derby at Myreside.