While two lions might not be quite enough to constitute a pride, if they are of the British and Irish variety, they are certainly enough to bring the best out of players in the hothouse of Premier 1 rugby. In John Beattie and Gordon Bulloch, West of Scotland have a coach and player who will bring a wealth of experience to bear against Dundee at Burnbrae this Saturday in a game that may also feature former Mayfield locks Mark Jenkinson and Andy Kennedy.
Dundee travel to Glasgow looking to record a third successive league win on the back of performances notable for forward power and pace in the backs. After the hard fought win against Selkirk, Dundee head coach Ian Rankin asserted that there were no easy games in Premier 1, a fact to which Glasgow Hawks can attest as the previously winless West of Scotland took full points at Old Anniesland in front of 1500 spectators last Friday night.
The significance of that win wasn’t lost on Ian Rankin as he told the website, "I am looking forward to the challenge laid down by John Beattie and his West squad. Much is made of the very experienced players West have but there is growing maturity and contribution being made by some young local players coming through the Burnbrae system as was seen last Friday in their excellent win over Hawks.”
Reflecting on Dundee’s own promising blend of youth and experience Ranks pointed out that the efforts to strengthen the squad this year have already borne fruit as Dundee called up five players to the 1st XV against Selkirk, “Having come out of last week’s game with a full 5 points for the 2nd week running, we’ve had the depth of our squad well and truly tested. With a number of Dundee players available after missing last week’s game and the memory of West beating us in the Cup still fresh in the mind, I anticipate a real edge in our preparation this week.”
With that in mind, the Mayfield faithful can be sure that Dundee skipper, Richie Hawkins will lead his troops into the lions’ den fully intending to be the hunters not the hunted.
West of Scotland v Dundee High kicks off at 3.00pm at Burnbrae.
Other games in Premier 1:
Watsonians v Boroughmuir
Heriot’s v Edin Accies
Ayr v Glasgow Hawks
Selkirk v Melrose
Currie v Stew / Mel FP