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Rugby: North sides discover their new-season fixtures, including some tricky openers

Aberdeen Grammar were relegated from the Premiership last term.
Aberdeen Grammar were relegated from the Premiership last term. Picture by Kenny Elrick

Relegated Aberdeen Grammar Rugby Club have been handed a tough test in the Scottish Borders to open their National League 1 campaign.

Grammar will meet Kelso on Saturday, September 3, before entertaining deadly rivals Highland at Rubislaw the following week in what will be a challenging start to life after dropping out of the Premiership.

Highland will open their account with an equally tricky home game against Ayr at Canal Park.

Grammar will have to travel to the Borders for their first three away games, with early-season matches at not just Kelso, but also Galashiels and Melrose, something which supports Highland head coach Davie Carson’s view when he said: “There are no easy games in this division.

“The fact there are now four teams in National League 1 from the Caledonian region gives it extra spice.

“It promises to be a great season. We can’t wait for it to get underway.”

Gordonians start at home to Fife

Gordonians start their new life in National League 3 with a home game against Howe of Fife, after the disappointment of being relegated last season from National 2.

Meanwhile, newly-promoted Orkney kick off their season in Edinburgh, where they meet Royal High.

In the Caledonian leagues, two of the fancied sides for promotion out of Caley 1 – Caithness and Ellon – lock horns in Thurso.

Elsewhere, Aberdeen Wanderers host Blairgowrie, while promoted Aberdeenshire have a real baptism of fire away to Dunfermline – last season’s runners-up to Orkney.

The Caley teams get their season up and running a week earlier – August 27 – in the National Shield, with the pick of the ties being the clash between Ellon and Dundee University Medics, both Murrayfield finalists in recent years.

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