HELENSBURGH Rugby Club head coach David Calderwood has welcomed the league reconstruction in the West Region and has backed his side to comfortably avoid relegation next season.
The Grizzlies were dramatically reinstated in West Division 1 for next season after plans for a league restructuring were accepted last week.
After picking up just one win last year, the Burgh were destined to drop to West Division 2.
But they will now stay up after Cumbernauld RFC’s proposal was accepted and there will now be three leagues instead of four in the West Region, with 12 teams in each instead of 10.
And Calderwood, who replaced Adam Hart in the Ardencaple hotseat in March, has backed the move and he is convinced his squad can stay well clear of relegation in the 12-team league.
He said: “I do fully believe that we can survive quite comfortably in that league.
“This league is better for us because there is more teams who want to play rugby, which suits us. The teams in the lower leagues can be a bit more physical and a bit more stuffy, it can be very difficult to play the rugby we’d like to play against those teams.
“It gives us two more home games as well which is good for the club revenue wise and means we will end our season at a more reasonable time.
“Last season we were finished all our games by the end of February, so we played through the worst months of the season and were finished when conditions improved.”
Calderwood is under no illusions that the Grizzlies have to get their own house in order after a torrid campaign last season if they are to make strides in the new league.
That process will start in earnest the first week of June when pre-season begins.
He added: “The main thing we have to focus on is ourselves and what we need to do to be better than last year.
“It wasn’t teams being so much better than us that led us to finishing bottom last year, it was our own failings in certain things that caused our own downfall.
"We need to address that no matter what league we are in.”