We catch up with the two Super6 S & C coaches...
There may have been no FOSROC Super6 action for the Watsonians Rugby squad since they defeated the Southern Knights 28-26 on Friday, March 6, but the players have been ticking over, in part thanks to the great work being done by S & C coaches Ruaridh Cuthbertson and David Allan.
When Government and Scottish Rugby guidelines have given the go ahead to training over the last nine months or so the playing group have worked hard with head coach Fergus Pringle in preparation for when competitive action does return at some stage in 2021.
The unfortunate break in rugby action has also allowed the players to really work hard on their own individual strength & conditioning programmes to make sure they are as fit as they can be.
All of that latter work has been done under the watchful eyes of Ruaridh and Dave and the duo are enjoying being a part of things at the club.
Ruaridh, originally from Ayrshire, has a varied sporting background having played rugby when he was younger and having since worked professionally in a number of sports including a spell in Spain working with elite tennis players.
“I came on board with the Super6 squad as the build up to the 2019/20 season continued and we had to hit the ground running really and try and build up relationships with the guys pretty quickly,” he explained.
“I needn’t have worried about that because the guys were very accommodating and made me feel part of things straight away as did Fergus and the rest of the coaching staff.
“For myself at that time it was about getting to know the different individuals in the squad and their needs when it came to strength & conditioning because we had a wide spectrum of guys in there, some who were training with Edinburgh Rugby and others who work long hours away from rugby for example.
“So, it was about tailoring programmes for them and working out what they could achieve and what was feasible with the time they had during a given week.
“Once the games started it was about making sure the work I was doing with them was getting them ready in the best way for the next game and I loved watching the guys play, some of the rugby they played and the fitness they showed was excellent.
“Obviously it was disappointing for everyone when things shut down ahead of the play-offs in March and then the Sprint Series couldn’t get started a few months later, but I have kept in contact with the guys as much as possible during this period with no rugby and when we have been training the players have really put in some hard yards.
“They have worked on things that maybe they couldn’t when the games were coming thick and fast and it should make them better rugby players in the long run.”
Midway through the 2019/20 regular season David, who has previously played for a number of rugby teams himself, came on board to help Ruaridh.
“I was delighted to be given the opportunity to get involved with Watsonians,” he said.
“When I first came in, I was acting as a sounding board in a way for Ruaridh and we already had a professional relationship so that worked well.
“Now that I have been involved for a while, we have split players into groups and I work with some of them and it is really good because I think Ruaridh and myself follow similar methodologies in terms of our conditioning.
“We are honest and constructive with each other and I think that helps us get the best outcome for each player.
“As Ruaridh said, you have to take each players situation into consideration when you are devising an ongoing programme for them and as well as us both working on that and bouncing ideas off each other the player themselves has input and all of the guys have been really good with feedback and helping us out.
“The team spirit and the way the guys support each other has been great to see over lockdown and the subsequent phases and I look forward to working with them going forward.
“In terms of my own rugby, well I played for my local club Blairgowrie before I spent some time in Brisbane in Australia and played for the North Eagles.
“Since I came back to Scotland I have played for Selkirk and Stewart’s Melville and I love the sport.”
Both Ruaridh and Dave are connected to Oriam and the club are pleased to be able to use the facilities there on the outskirts of Edinburgh when possible.
Words by Gary Heatly