Rugby in the north-east may be on hold since the SRU called an early halt to the 2019/20 season.
But there is already a call from Caley clubs to the ruling body to offer up some guidelines for next season. Ellon, one of the progressive clubs in the area, would normally have been announcing the start of pre-season. But now they have to wait for clearance before going ahead.
Head coach Craig Parslow said: “We have, in fact, pencilled in our first training for June 6.
“We cannot go ahead until we get the nod from Murrayfield – although we’ll be ready to go whenever we get permission.
“It’s a big exercise to put in place, as we have not only our first team in Caley Division 1 to consider, but a developing second team in Caley 4 North, plus our progressive Under-18s who had such a good season last term.’’
Parslow is, however, well aware there will be major considerations in respect of social distancing, with tackling and contact in scrums, all needing to be addressed before the game can get under way again.
He added: “I appreciate it is not going to be easy for the legislators, but we’re just keen to get ahead with the game.
“We’ll just have to be patient. In the meantime we are likely to have a big squad itching to go whenever we get the green light.
“There’s also an ultra-keen coaching team headed up by former player Derek Fraser, who is director of rugby, while I have the experienced Scott Munro sharing the coaching duties with me.
“Add to that the many others at the club who all want Ellon to be performing at the highest level in all the competitions we play in.’’
But while Ellon look to have a strong management team and squad, the damage caused by the suspension of play brought on by coronavirus may well take its toll on clubs who could struggle to get players back to the game after a lengthy break.
There is also the increasing responsibilities being heaped on head coaches, some of whom cannot be guaranteed the support available at Ellon.
Aberdeenshire are looking for a new head coach to replace Barny Henderson, while Charlie Catto has announced he was standing down after one year in charge at Garioch.
These are two experienced coaches who will be hard to replace.