TWO West Fife clubs are set to step up their preparations for the new rugby season by trying out a new-look pre-season tournament on Saturday.

Dunfermline Rugby Club and Rosyth Sharks travel to Kirkcaldy to compete in the ‘Fife Senior Rugby Festival’ featuring teams from seven Kingdom clubs.

The initiative has been spearheaded by Mark Dobson, who has stepped back from his role as Dunfermline head coach for the coming season, in his role with the SRU (Scottish Rugby Union) as a regional manager for Caledonia Midlands.

His role in developing the game covers Fife, Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling, and while he will remain involved at McKane Park as one of their assistant coaches alongside Sky Laurie, Stuart Brown will take the reins as the first XV’s head coach.

The festival will be split into two tiers, with hosts Kirkcaldy, of National League Division Two; Howe of Fife (National Three); and Dunfermline and Glenrothes (Caledonia League Division One) featuring in the first, with tiers comprising of two pools.

Rosyth, who won the Caledonia Midlands Three title in January, will take on Midlands Two league rivals Kirkcaldy second XV and Midlands Four side Howe Crusaders in Pool A, with Dunfermline’s second XV (Midlands Three), Madras (Midlands Two) and Waid Academy (Midlands Three) playing in Pool B.

Dobson commented: “Traditionally, senior clubs in Fife play their first pre-season games in the build-up for the season proper on the first weekend in August.

“The concept behind the festival was to bring all clubs in Fife together for a meaningful and engaging pre-season experience, with a focus on participation and an element of regional competition.

“All clubs have been excited at the opportunity to come together and it provides the platform to create an annual, regional event moving forwards.

“The concept has been facilitated by myself, and Ant Reen (Fife Council rugby development officer), and Kirkcaldy Rugby Club have been fantastic in allowing the festival to be held at their facility.”

The tournament will see each team play three, 30-minute matches, with those in tier one determining an overall winner.

Those in tier two will play two pool matches and then a final for shield, bowl and plate honours against the equivalently placed team in the opposite pool.

The action begins at 2pm. The shield final is due to take place at 4.40pm before the opening tier one fixtures at 5.20pm, in which Dunfermline tackle Glenrothes. Presentations to the winners are at 7.30pm.