IT'S been a long 18 months but competitive rugby will finally return for Dunfermline and Rosyth Sharks this weekend.

Not since March 7 last year, in the 2019/20 season, has either club fielded teams in their respective league matches.

That, however, will change on Saturday when the Scottish domestic season returns, with Dunfermline's first XV taking on Glenrothes in Tennent's Caledonia Division One at McKane Park, and Rosyth hosting Dundee Rugby second XV in Caledonia Midlands League Division Three.

Both clubs fielded sides at Saturday's Fife Senior Rugby Festival, held in Cupar, which saw 10 teams take part in 20-minute matches.

The McKane men defeated Glenrothes, and only lost out to Kirkcaldy, of National League Division Two, by a try, and first XV skipper Cameron Dunn believes they are going into the new season in a good place.

"It's been 18 months of prep," he said. "There's new faces, there's returning players, players who have come up from the youth guys, and we've lost a few, so it's almost like a brand-new re-build. It's been good to get back to basics and start from scratch really.

"We've got a nice, general skillset so I'm hoping that will see us through the first few weeks.

"A few guys got a wee taster over the past few weekends. For some of them, it's their first taste of senior rugby, and for a few them, their first time more at first team level, and they seemed to take to it really well.

"I'm sure they'll be keen to try and keep themselves in the squad going forward."

Dunn continued: "It'll be challenging this year. Obviously, we've got the league leaders from last time round still in it, and a team from the league above that dropped down as well in Caithness, so we're under no illusions. It will be a difficult one for us again this year but my message this weekend is just going to be that everybody's waited 18 months.

"We've just got to want it more than the other team, simple as that, because we've all waited the same amount of time."

Tournaments in Livingston and Linlithgow were played in by Dunfermline prior to Saturday's event in Cupar, of which Dunn commented: "On paper, it wasn't necessarily a successful day, with one win from the four games, but two of the opposition were teams that are in higher leagues.

"The one win we got was against the guys we're playing this weekend so that's good confidence for us, making sure we're doing the right things at least to our own level.

"Even then, against Kirkcaldy who are a very high-up team, they only beat us by a single try. There's definitely positives to take away from all the games, which is great."

In addition to the first XV, Dunfermline's second and third XVs are also in action, at home to Montrose and District, and at Arbroath, in Division Three and Four respectively. All matches kick-off at 3pm, except the third XV's match, which is a 1pm start.