Club Xv Join Forces At Netherdale

Scotland club international players, John Dalziel and Scott Wight, were today joined by soldiers from 6 Scots at Netherdale to co-promote the side’s free entry international against France, and the Hearts & Heroes Challenge in May.

Squad and squadron called on the rugby community to come out in force for the Border events that begin with the international on Friday 5 February (kick-off) while the 2010 Poppyscotland Hearts and Heroes Challenge over the Southern Upland Way is on Saturday 15 May 2010 in aid of rugby charity Hearts & Balls and veterans’ charity, Poppyscotland – all funds raised will go to help injured sportsmen and women as well as veterans and their families living in Scotland.

Scotland club international players, John Dalziel and Scott Wight, were today joined by soldiers from 6 SCOTS at Netherdale to co-promote the side’s free entry international against France, and the Hearts & Heroes Challenge in May.

Squad and squadron called on the rugby community to come out in force for the Border events that begin with the international on Friday 5 February (kick-off) while the 2010 Poppyscotland Hearts & Heroes Challenge over the Southern Upland Way is on Saturday 15 May 2010 in aid of rugby charity Hearts & Balls and veterans’ charity, Poppyscotland – all funds raised will go to help injured sportsmen and women as well as veterans and their families living in Scotland.

Club international captain, John Dalziel, said: “A big crowd makes the atmosphere at the ground and adds to the occasion for both teams so hopefully we’ll get a big a Border crowd because representing their country means a lot to the boys.

“The best of Scotland’s club players are taking on the best of the French clubs so it’ll be a big step up. Last season’s match was really physically demanding and we needed the whole 22 to put in a huge effort to get within a point of the French so we need the crowd to get behind us.”

Both the Club International and the Hearts & Heroes challenge present a great opportunity for Borderers to show their enthusiasm for the sport and also help benefit the wider rugby and veterans’ communities. 

The 2009 the Hearts & Heroes Challenge saw more than 500 people take part and raised £244,961.

Ian McGregor, Chief Executive of Poppyscotland, explained that organisers were aiming even higher for 2010.

He said: “The 2009 event brought together the Armed Forces and rugby communities for a day of competition and camaraderie. We want to build on this for 2010 so that participants can enjoy the day and raise vital funds to make a difference to the lives of veterans and injured rugby players.”

Jim Littlefair, Chairman of Hearts & Balls, emphasised why the event is important to the charities. He said: “Rugby brings pleasure and a sense of community to millions of people but occasionally serious injuries occur. This event provides an excellent opportunity for the rugby community to support its own and be actively involved in supporting Scotland’s Armed Forces heroes.”

Whilst joining together to raise much-needed sponsorship money for the charities, participants can also compete for awards such as ‘fastest team’ and will be able to celebrate their achievements at a party at The Greenyards rugby ground in Melrose.

The route of the 12-hour challenge begins at the southern end of St Mary’s Loch, and works its way along the stunning Southern Upland Way, finishing in Melrose. There are three finish points available - bronze (12 miles), silver (21 miles) and gold (29 miles), so that participants of all levels of fitness can aim for a target that suits them.

Like all Scottish Rugby youth,  age-grade representative fixtures and Scotland Women matches, admission to Scotland Club International v France at Netherdale on Friday 5 February(kick-off 7.30pm) is FREE.

Scotland Club International squad to play France at Netherdale on Friday 5 February, kick-off 7.30pm (1st XV and replacements will be announced next week)

Fraser Harkness (Selkirk), Fraser Thomson (Melrose), Malcolm Clapperton (Boroughmuir), Jamie Hunter (Ayr), James King (Melrose), Callum Anderson (Melrose)*, Andrew MacMahon (Currie), Scott Wight (Melrose), Richard Snedden (Currie), Alan Dymock (Heriots), Gregor Wood (Watsonians), Gordon Reid (Ayr), Scott Burnett (Heriots), Alastair Hamilton (Currie), Alan Brown (Dundee), Damien Kelly (Ayr), Scott Sutherland (Ayr), Rory McKay (Hawks), John Dalziel CAPTAIN (Melrose), Mark Cairns (Currie), Paul Burke (Ayr), Ross Weston (Currie)

* Callum Anderson (Melrose) joins the Club International squad as a replacement for Lee Jones (Selkirk) following his selection for the Scotland Sevens squad.

Scotland Club International fixtures:
Friday 5 February – Scotland club international v France, Netherdale (kick-off 7.30pm)
Friday 19 March – Ireland v Scotland club international (Donnybrook, kick-off 7pm)

52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland is the Territorial Army infantry from the south of Scotland.  Its Headquarters is in Glasgow and there are detachments in Ayr, Bathgate, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Galashiels and Motherwell. To take part in the Poppyscotland Hearts & Heroes Challenge, teams can enter via the website: www.heartsandheroes.co.uk