Issue 90 - Page 72

Newton Stewart RFC

HOW ’ S THE GENERAL MOOD DOWN AT THE CLUB AT THE MOMENT ? We ’ re in an exciting place at Newton Stewart RFC currently ! Our senior team are playing in National League Division 2 , which is an enormous achievement considering how small our club and our pool of players is . With a total squad of about 24 players available for senior team selection , there is very little option to rest players and injuries can create massive headaches when it comes to fielding a team on a Saturday !
This season started really well for us with three wins back-to-back , however more recently we have had a run of very narrow losses . That combined with a number of nasty injuries ( and therefore a depleted squad ) it ’ s proving a tough run at the moment !
Above all though we ’ re all
just delighted to be back into the swing of rugby after such a long lay-off due to COVID-19 .
DO YOU HAVE ANY SUCCESSFUL PLAYER CONNECTIONS THAT HAVE COME THROUGH OR PLAYED FOR THE CLUB OVER THE YEARS ? Robbie Smith – came through NSRFC junior sections before joining Ayr RFC at U18 level . He represented Scotland at U18 and U20 level , ultimately captaining the U20 side . Robbie was awarded an Academy contract with Glasgow Warriors before moving to Bedford Blues for a year in the English Championship . He is now playing in the English Premiership with Newcastle Falcons . Robbie maintains close links with Newton Stewart RFC and visits
regularly . His younger brother Jamie is a key member of our 1st XV side .
Allan Ferrie – another product of our youth section . Allan played through all age group rugby with NSRFC before joining the senior team in 2017 . He was a huge part of our 1st XV until he moved away from the area last year . He has represented Scotland at U18 level and this season joined Southern Knights in the Super Six league where he has become a regular starter for the side .
WHY DO YOU FEEL SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE A SPECIAL FONDNESS FOR NEWTON STEWART RFC ? The small , rural community , and specifically the close-knit rugby community , means that everyone knows everyone at Newton Stewart RFC ! The founding fathers of the club are now the parents and grandparents of our 1st XV and they continue to come along to support the club . Even our caterers are the mothers and grandmothers of our players . It really is like one big extended family !
CAN YOU PROVIDE A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT THE CLUB ? Newton Stewart RFC was formed in 1984 by a small band of local rugby enthusiasts . Initially we played in the Glasgow district leagues and gained our first promotion in the 1995-96 season . Following the restructuring of the league set-up we played in the West leagues until achieving promotion to National 3 in 2016-17 . This
was a huge achievement for our ‘ wee ’ club and we weren ’ t sure initially how we would fair at this level .
To our delight we finished 3rd in the league on our first attempt , missing out on promotion by just one point , but in 2018-19 we were able to go one better and reached National 2 for the first time .
One claim to fame the club holds is that since our inception in 1984 , we have never been relegated ... although it ’ s never clever to boast about such things !
PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT ANY LADIES ’ TEAM / TEAMS AND OR ANY GIRLS RUGBY AT THE CLUB OR HAVE YOU PLANS TO FORM ONE ? One of the great benefits our development officer has brought to the club is the strengthening of the youth section . Girls and ladies ’ teams have been a pipedream for Newton Stewart RFC for such a long time , but finally we are starting to see to an appetite for the ladies ’ sport in our area . We now have a girls team training and playing in regular fixtures which has been exciting to see . We have a small number of senior ladies training , although not enough to form an independent team yet . Through collaboration with our local clubs Wigtownshire RFC and Stewartry RFC our ladies are able to get game time however , and we hope in due course competitive ladies ’ rugby will become a big part of Newton Stewart RFC .
HOW DOES THE CLUB ENSURE THAT YOUNG PLAYERS ENJOY A SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO THE SENIOR GAME ? Our U18 team train alongside our senior team every week , separating only for contact
CONTINUED ...