Mansfield Park's present crop might struggle to regain their club's once-fearsome reputation at the summit of the Scottish circuit. Yet, in the Borders town which produced such stalwarts as Jim Renwick and Colin Deans, Alan Tomes and Tony Stanger, there is a determination both to celebrate the past and provide an exhilarating brand of rugby which will persuade the locals to return to the ground.
Off the field, the committee are in the process of picking their greatest "Green Machine" XV and have planned a series of events to mark the occasion later this year. On it, the irrepressible coach, Phil Leck, who steered his side to promotion in the most dramatic of circumstances - he was in hospital as his charges edged out Dundee HSFP with a nerve-shredding 39-38 victory - is working hard to ensure the hosts make a successful start when they entertain Aberdeen Grammar on Saturday.
Leck could never be described as one of life's shrinking violets, but he recognises that it will be difficult for his players to reproduce the expansive, ball-in-hand performances, which enabled them to accumulate a remarkable 608 points in the second flight.
Out wide, Hawick will pose problems for any opponents, but it could be tougher for them in the tight as pitches worsen and winter sets in, or at least on the evidence of the pummelling their pack received, in conceding three pushover tries, during that win over Dundee.
None the less, the coach is insistent that they will be ready for the challenge. "We know we are making a step up, but we are not going into the Premiership thinking about survival, or I wouldn't be here," said Leck, whose squad has been bolstered by the addition of two props, Kyle Manson-Kullin, and the indefatigable Willie Blacklock, who has never taken a backward step in his career.
"We have put the emphasis on attack and I believe it has paid off, because the fans have started coming back and the fact is I would pay to watch the rugby this side is playing. So, I hope we can get 1000 people from the town to back the team in the months ahead.
"We realise there are plenty of good clubs in the Premiership and we will have to keep raising our standards if we want to do ourselves justice against opponents such as Ayr, Gala and Melrose. But rugby is still an important part of life in Hawick and the celebrations after we beat Dundee showed how much this means to the community."
Much will depend on how quickly the young team can surge out of the blocks, but Leck is understandably disinclined to talk down their prospects. "We have a very limited squad, in terms of numbers, and we have no money, but these boys have got lots of heart, they knew they weren't good enough in some areas to be competitive in the Premiership, and they have worked their socks off to rectify that during the summer. I am proud of them."
Phil Smith is a more reserved character than his Hawick counterpart, so it was with a sense of caution that he responded to the news that several other Premiership coaches have picked the Goldenacre club as dark horses to win the title in the forthcoming campaign. Choosing his words carefully, he said: "It's nice that other teams are talking us up; I just hope it isn't a double bluff."
Once he warmed to his theme, though, it was possible to understand why the Edinburgh side are so highly rated, prior to their opening tussle at The Greenyards against Melrose. They have a distinctly promising group of new personnel, including Murray Douglas, Alex Henderson, George Turner, Liam Steele, Keith Buchan, Scott Burnside, Lawrie Seydak and Robbie Tait. They have an ambitious coaching staff, who are determined to end what have been several relatively fallow seasons for their city's representatives. And, while Smith prefers to use the carrot rather than the stick, he is a pretty determined individual.
"Our hopes are to improve on last year, through a bit more consistency, and we feel that things are moving in the right direction," he said. "We expect all of the new guys to push into the first XV squad, with Douglas, Henderson and Steele potentially top performers, who could make the biggest impact. Burnside and Tait are both young, but both of them have shown up really well in the pre-season, and although we are definitely undercooked, in terms of gaining game time, we do believe we have a talented collection of players."
Heriot's have transformed their fortunes in the last 18 months with plenty of free-flowing, off-the-cuff displays - when they are hot, they can be positively molten - but Smith appreciates that his men will have to demonstrate they have acquired the knack of winning when they are not at their best. Yet he maintains the biggest menace to their chances might come not from the favourites, but from another central-belt organisation.
"I think the main threat will be Stirling County, who seem to have recruited better than anybody else, although you can't write off the likes of Ayr, Gala and Melrose," said Smith. "The club are fairly happy with how things went last season. It was a bit of a struggle the year before and we didn't really recruit last summer.
"There was a feeling that there was no avenue to improve at this club, but we've now had Fraser Brown win a cap and both he and Kevin Bryce have earned earn professional contracts, which is encouraging."
"I expect it to be close again. The brand of rugby which all the teams produced last winter made it great to watch; let's hope that it will continue in 2013/14."