Issue 90 - Page 50

Ross High

Rugby Football Club

Stuart Fleming Director of Rugby was recently interviewed by Rugby Club Magazine .
Stuart Fleming and his son after the 3rd ( XV ) match ( my boots are now officially hung up !
DO YOU HAVE ANY SUCCESSFUL PLAYER CONNECTIONS THAT HAVE COME THROUGH OR PLAYED FOR THE CLUB OVER THE YEARS ? We have had players represent Scotland at the various age groups but our most famous would be big Tam Smith ( scored that winning try V England at Twickenham in 1983 ).
DO YOU OR PLAN TO HAVE ANY LADIES / GIRLS RUGBY AT THE CLUB ? Women ’ s rugby is a key part of our 5-year plan . Unfortunately , the lockdown has delayed our plans by approximately 18 months . That said we have started to upgrade our facilities to accommodate women participating in rugby , the ladies toilets in the changing rooms have now been upgraded to included showering facilities so we can facilitate both women and male referees at the same time .
HOW DOES THE CLUB ENSURE THAT YOUNG PLAYERS ENJOY A SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO THE SENIOR GAME ? This is such a key area and one we are constantly monitoring and enhancing as
its not a one size fits all . The Colts ( U18s ) train before the seniors with them then taking part in various elements of the senior training . The boys who turn 18 during the season are then eligible to play senior rugby and when the coaching staff deem an individual ready , they will then be gradually introduced into 2nd XV or 3rd XV matches .
• Provide support for local groups that cater for disadvantaged kids that wish to play rugby
• Host an OAP xmas party
• Support the local charity group – Tranent Belters
• Provide free facilities for the town ’ s Children ’ s Gala on Gala day
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED AND WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO THE CLUB ? I started to get involved when my son picked up the oval ball aged 11 and I soon found myself coaching his U13 team , 9 years ago now !
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ACCOUNTS FOR THE POSITIVE MOOD AT THE CLUB THIS SEASON ? Quite simply because the season is underway ! The coaching staff did a fantastic job in keeping the senior players active during preseason and as the start of the season got closer you could feel the anticipation build which was echoed by the numbers at training , 30 + at every session .
WHAT ARE THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVES IN BEING CLUB DOR ? Positives - Getting to see people of all ages , sexes and backgrounds playing rugby at Ross High , the buzz of the club on match day , taking part in the match day sponsor lunches , speaking with like minded people from other clubs , supporting other clubs in the region where we can , working with club committee in how we can grow the club both community and rugby wise . Negatives - Growing pains as the club moves forward with its 5-year plan !
CAN YOU PROVIDE A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT THE CLUB ? There was a Tranent Rugby Club which existed in the 1920s , and later there was the original Ross High School FP RFC which played between 1959 and 1964 , folding due to lack of players . The present club was formed in 1970 by a group of recent school leavers who wanted to keep playing without having to join one of the established East Lothian clubs .
Ross High joined the Edinburgh and District Union , and made early progress through the lower district leagues . The goal was to win Division 1 in order to be promoted to the National League system , something that took until season 1988 / 89 to achieve . Along the way we provided a start point for second row Tom Smith to move from basketball to rugby , gaining 4 full caps playing out of Gala RFC between 1983 and 1985 .
The 1990s up until 2002 represented our most successful period when we reached Premier League 3 , having developed and retained a group of talented age group players alongside established veterans . Since then , fortunes declined , occasionally revived but led us into the bottom reaches of the East Regional Leagues .
However , since 2015 there has been a steady and sustained recovery that sees Ross High mount a postlockdown challenge for the East Division 1 title .
WHAT ARE THE FACILITIES LIKE DOWN AT ROSS HIGH RFC ? Through the hard work by the committee and its members Ross High has some of the best facilities in the region :
• Newly upgraded lounge , hall and gym , all funded by our members and sponsors
• 4 modern changing rooms with women and male referee changing facilities
• 2 pitches with flood lights on the main pitch which enables us to host evening matches
• Newly upgraded training lights
• With support from the SRU , newly upgraded women ’ s toilets to include shower facilities for female referees
• New beer garden .
New lounge set up for sponsors lunch .