HAWICK have announced that two of their most highly rated players in loose-head prop Shawn Muir and teenage centre Andrew Mitchell have turned down offers from Super 6 clubs to continue playing at Mansfield Park next season.
Muir captained the club this season, was a consistently outstanding performer in the Premiership and has been the starting No 1 for the Scotland Club XV the last two seasons. However, he has recently taken a new job as a manager in a local mill and bought a house, plus he has a child due in September and is getting married next year, which will all have contributed to the 26-year-old’s decision to stay with his hometown club.
“My family, the town and the pride in captaining this great club was the deciding factor for me,” he said. “I want to play where my heart lies.”
Mitchell burst onto the scene while still only 17 with a series of outstanding performances at the start of this season. He was involved in the Scotland Under-19s programme and has trained with Newcastle Falcons. He is an apprentice bricklayer and doesn’t drive.
“Growing up, all I wanted to do was pull on the green jersey and now that I have it I want to stay and play another season under George and develop with my friends and teammates at Hawick RFC,” he said.
Hawick Director of Rugby Garry Douglas welcomed the news.
“We are delighted that Shawn and Andrew have decided to stay at the club,” he said. “Despite some very lucrative offers from Super 6 franchises, they have shown serious loyalty to the club, town, their coaches and team-mates.
“If we can retain the nucleus of our squad then we could do very well next season. The news that these two lads are staying plays a massive part towards that.”