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Caithness set for touch rugby world record bid

By Gordon Calder

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CAITHNESS rugby players will aim to create a world record this week and raise money for research into motor neurone disease.

They are trying to beat the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon for playing touch rugby. The plan is to start the attempt at Millbank on Friday and break the existing record of 30 hours, three minutes and 11 seconds.

The players want to give a boost to their club funds and provide money for the Doddie Weir foundation. The former Scotland international was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2017 and set up the charity to raise funds to research causes of the disease and investigate potential cures.

Caithness rugby player Hamish Coghill came up with the world record idea but admits it will be "very tough".

He said: "It will be more mental than physical. We could have done a standard 24-hour game but we wanted to push ourselves and make it more interesting."

The attempt on the world record will get under way at 6pm.

Under the rules, 28 players in two teams of 14 will be involved. Six can be on the pitch at any one time, with a total of eight substitutes allowed.

Players are entitled to rest periods and meal breaks during the attempt.

"We want to beat the record and are aiming for 31 hours," said Hamish, who has played as hooker for the club for more than 13 years. "Depending on how it goes we may be happy to carry on and try and smash it, but it will be very tough."

All the other players in the club from the micros to the seniors will be taking part in a 12-hour touch rugby fundraiser from noon on the Saturday. There will also be a barbecue, baking stall, bottle stall and bouncy castle.

"We hope to raise as much as possible," Hamish said. "The money will go to help the club and to the Doddie Weir foundation. Last year, we raised £1200 for the foundation and would hope to match that amount again."

He praised the support the club has received from the community in its record-breaking bid.

A signed Scotland rugby top has been donated by the SRU.
A signed Scotland rugby top has been donated by the SRU.

A Scotland rugby top, signed by the World Cup squad, has been donated by the Scottish Rugby Union and will be raffled by the Caithness club as part of the fundraiser.

Two Scotland home international tickets will be on offer to the person whose guess is closest to the time achieved by the players. Also a Doddie Weir foundation rugby shirt or hoodie will be won by the person who guesses closest to the number of tries scored in the 12-hour touch rugby event.

The individual who raises most money for the club through sponsor sheets will win four tickets for a Scottish home international game.

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