AN INAUGURAL programme of non-contact rugby at the city's club has been hailed as a "resounding success".

Over a 10-week period, until its last session earlier this month, Dunfermline Rugby Club have hosted a 'walking rugby' initiative for the first time at McKane Park.

Another format of the game where there is no contact, it is taken at a walking place, having been designed for players of all abilities and genders who are either older or unable to participate in the contact version of the sport.

The first running of it, which also saw those taking part being given the opportunity to get their hands on the Calcutta Cup, retained by Scotland this year after a second successive Six Nations win over England, at Dunfermline, has been facilitated by Terry McNeish, who commented: "By all accounts, walking rugby at Dunfermline has been a resounding success, with numbers in attendance fluctuating from 12 on a rainy night to 20 on a sun-blessed evening."

Scott Murphy, Dunfermline Rugby Club's vice-president, launched the initiative with funding from the Royal Bank RugbyForce Young Ambassador programme, and said: "Walking Rugby offers people the opportunity to participate in a non-contact format of rugby at a slower and more relaxed pace. The game is a leveller and you do not need to be fit to play it.

"It’s perfect for people who are maybe a bit older or perhaps can’t play contact sport after injuries, but it’s also great for those who have never played before and just fancy getting some gentle exercise with like-minded people. It is a great way to rebuild a group of friends and improve your social life."

Meanwhile, pre-season training for both the men's first XV and the women's team is under way, with both sides keen to welcome new players to work on their fitness and skills.

The women's squad, now under the charge of new head coach Gary Kenhard, are especially eager for anyone who has never played before and would like to try, or who were involved in the 'Tartan Touch' programme at McKane, to get involved, with sessions taking place on Sundays, from 10-11.30am, and Wednesdays and Fridays, from 7-8.30pm, in Pittencrieff Park.

The men's side are training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7-8.30pm, at Pitreavie Athletics Centre, while the club is also set to host a free, 10-week men's rugby development programme, starting on August 1 from 7-8pm at McKane Park, open to anyone aged 18 or over.

In addition, on Saturdays from 9-11am, a girls' and women's summer bootcamp is also taking place, with this weekend being the third week of six.

For more details, visit the club's Facebook page.