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Carson’s side not prey for Hawks

Highland head coach Davie Carson.
Highland head coach Davie Carson.

Highland head coach Dave Carson has called on his players to be inspired rather than intimidated by tomorrow’s National Cup trip to Premiership side Glasgow Hawks.

The Inverness men are vast underdogs for the trip to Old Anniesland, which they set up with a 56-19 win against fellow National 3 side St Boswells.

Carson said: “We are going down there to play a game of rugby and if any of the guys are not up for it they should step away from it. We don’t want to take anyone down there who thinks we will be fodder.

“We need to go into the match looking to try to win. It’s a good break from league business. We have nothing to lose – we just have to go down and do the best we can and who knows what the result will be?

“Hopefully, it will show the standard the guys can reach. It’s obviously way above where we are at the moment but it will show us the work we need to put in as players and coaches to keep climbing these leagues. It will be a big experience.”

Hawks ran out 71-8 winners at Canal Park in the last meeting between the sides in the same competition in November 2003, during Carson’s first spell in charge of Highland.

Carson is concerned only with ensuring his side’s performance is up to scratch following a 15-10 defeat by St Boswells in the league this month.

He added: “I can’t remember the extent of the gulf the last time but it will probably be similar to how it is now. We have to play our normal game. If we step back and try to hold off these teams they will hammer us.

“We will look to play fast, cutting rugby and see what happens but we will certainly not be changing anything. They are four divisions above us. I’m not sure what side they will put out.

“We slipped up a wee bit, we’ve not been clicking in the last three games. The break came at the right time for us. After our defeat by St Boswells we’ve been looking at our own game rather than at our opponents.”

Highland will be without captain Andrew Findlater, despite the fact he will not require surgery on a shoulder injury. Outside centre Rory Cross will deputise. Oscar Baird misses out with a hamstring injury but Callum Carson, Scott Fraser and Craig Findlater return.

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