Highland head coach Davie Carson hopes his players will be ready once they can resume contact training after returning to socially distanced sessions this week.
The National 1 outfit held their first non-contact training since lockdown on Saturday, with three hour-long sessions which involved four groups of six players training together at any given time.
Players are required to wear a mask on arrival to Canal Park, before undergoing a temperature check to indicate whether they could be carrying coronavirus.
With the Scottish Government having given an indicative date of August 24 for the return of organised outdoor contact sports for all ages, Carson hopes the return to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday non-contact sessions can help his side prepare for the step up in intensity once permitted.
Carson, pictured, said: “We are just testing the water, with all the protocols we have to go through. We have got to keep these groups of six, with the likes of families and close friends together in groups.
“We are allowed to pass the ball between each other, and we can do some skills drills. It’s just good to get everyone back into it and get everyone back down to see each other, which is the big thing.”
— Highland Rugby Club 🦅 (@HighlandRFC) August 6, 2020
Carson is pleased by the level of fitness after senior players completed a challenge to run a combined 3,093 miles in June in support of the Mikeysline charity.
He added: “The guys have been working hard. Our coach Rory Cross has done a lot of stuff online with them, there has been a lot of fitness, strength and conditioning over Zoom.
“They did their 3,093 mile challenge in June as well, so the majority of them have been keeping in pretty good shape.”
Carson is hopeful the new season could begin in late October, with the Highland boss awaiting confirmation from the SRU over what the structure of the league will look like.
He added: “They are talking about October 31. They are going through formats and giving clubs options of which way we are going to go.
“At the start they were suggesting we couldn’t have a league because it might get stopped, but I think they’ve come to reason now where they want to get something competitive going.
“If it has to stop, it has to stop, but let’s be positive.”