Hawick teen Connor Sutherland lives the dream on return of Premiership rugby

Making your first XV debut for your hometown rugby club aged 18 and then being named player of the match in a victory is the stuff dreams are made of – and Hawick’s Connor Sutherland lived it at the weekend.
Connor Sutherland, 18, earned man of the match on his Hawick first team debutConnor Sutherland, 18, earned man of the match on his Hawick first team debut
Connor Sutherland, 18, earned man of the match on his Hawick first team debut

The Tennent’s Premiership returned after a break of over 500 days and before the first lockdown came in March 2020, back-row Sutherland was still playing age-grade rugby.

However, he and a number of others have graduated from the Hawick Youth Rugby ranks since then and are now in and around the new look Greens first team squad which is being led by new head coach Matty Douglas.

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Many felt Hawick would struggle to get the better of a Currie Chieftains side led by experienced campaigners such as skipper Fergus Scott, Paddy Boyer, Gregor Hunter and DJ Innes in the season opener at Mansfield Park on Saturday.

However, tries from Shaun Fairbairn, Ronan McKean and Jae Linton led the way while if Sutherland was nervous, he certainly didn’t show it.

After his composed performance in the 25-20 home victory, the teenager said: “I really enjoyed testing myself at that level and it was a great win from a young side.

“We had to dig very deep to get the win everyone and showed great heart from the start.

“It was a brilliant way to start to the Premiership season and hopefully there will be more of the same to come away to GHA this coming weekend.”

Head coach Douglas, himself just 26, said: “We are a young team, but there was a group of players out there who put their bodies on the line for the jersey and it showed at the end when we defended for about 15 minutes to keep them out and get the result.

“Connor played very well for someone so young.”

Hawick are third in the fledgling league table, Marr and Musselburgh being above them because in their Saturday wins they picked up four try bonus points respectively.

Marr got the better of Glasgow Hawks 33-7 at Fullarton Park to go top while Musselburgh defeated GHA at Stoneyhill 33-13.

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