It’s now only two weekends to go until the RBS Premier split takes place.
Gala v Aberdeen Grammar, Netherdale, 3pm
|Both teams at Netherdale this Saturday are now secure in the top eight so for Gala it will be a case of holding the top spot, while Grammar have the ability of climbing up another place. Geroge Graham makes one change to the Gala starting XV bringing Craig Borthwick into the inside centre berth, whereas, Alex Duncan makes seven changes to last week’s starting line-up introducing Glasgow Warriors Alex Dunbar in the centre and Apelu Alapati onto the wing for his first start of the season.|
Gala head coach, George Graham, said: “A good win last weekend at Accies with some good attacking rugby from both sides. Yet again our defence showed we can keep our opponents at bay.
“This weekend at Netherdale we find ourselves at the sharp end of the season against a confident Aberdeen Grammar.”
Aberdeen Grammar head coach, Alex Duncan, said: “With a hard-fought second-half comeback last week against Heriot’s the squad have notched up a run of three successful wins and have secured a place in the top eight.
“We now have the challenge of going to Netherdale to play a high-flying Gala. This is definitely shaping up to be a good game!”
Gala team: Bryce Turner; Shaun Law, Chris Auld, Craig Borthwick, Craig Robertson; Lee Millar, George Graham; Lewis Bertram, Russell Anderson, Ewan McQuillin, Chris Weir, Opeta Palepoi, David Marshall, Gary Lowrie, Euan Dods.
Replacements: Jack Gilding, Gary Lowrie, Gregor Hunter, Andy McLean, Alan Emond.
Aberdeen Grammar team: Steven Aitken (vice-captain); Callum Anderson, Will Wardlaw, Alex Dunbar, Apelu Alapati; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Nicki Fraser, Sean O’Connor, Richard Allen, Ed Nimmons, Murray Douglas (captain), Sandy Warnock, Tony McGuiness, Greig Ryan.
Replacements: Callum McConnachie, Sam Bingham, Rab Barrie, Erland Oag, Rob Lawson.
Heriot’s v Boroughmuir, Goldenacre, 3pm
With the home advantage and an Edinburgh derby on the cards for Heriot’s this weekend, they will be desperate to get back to winning ways. However, Boroughmuir sit in seventh place in RBS Premier 1 and will want to make their position in the top eight more secure.
“They have a strong setpiece and usually keep the opposition back three busy with Graeme Wilson’s kicking game.
Melrose v Edinburgh Accies, The Greenyards, 3pm
Melrose will be hurting after their loss at Bridgehaugh last weekend and with the home advantage will look to redeem themselves. However Accies will also be looking to get back to winning ways after a series of defeats. For the Edinburgh side Jamie Farndale has first start of the season and Robin Snape returns from injury.
“I can’t ignore the second XV results of late and a number of them will get their chance against a decent Melrose team who will be looking to bounce back after their loss last weekend.
Glasgow Hawks v Dundee HSFP, Old Anniesland, 3pm
|Ian Rankin shows faith in his starting XV as they remain unchanged after their victory against Ayr last weekend. |
Dundee HSFP head coach, Ian Rankin, said: “Having beaten Ayr and Melrose in the last few weeks and a last minute defeat to Currie the challenge is for a very settled squad to keep up that level of intensity against a Hawks outfit that will be desperate for a result with just two games until the break in the league programme.”
Dundee HSFP team: Cam Wyper; Andrew McLean, Robbie Lavery, Harry Duthie, James Fleming; Cam Brown, Andy Dymock; Neil Dymock (captain), Simon Forrest, Alan Brown, Richard Hawkins, Andy Linton, Chris Cumming, Richie McIver, Danny Levison.
Replacements: Darell Russell, Gavin Robertson, Andy Redmayne, Rory Pitman, Tom Seabala.
Currie v Stirling County, Bridgehaugh, 3pm
|Currie are forced to make a number of changes due to injury, while County remain unchanged in the starting XV. The Edinburgh outfit fight with Dundee (both 30 points) for the third spot while County look to ensure their position in the top eight. They currently sit eighth, two points behind Borougnmuir. |
Currie head coach, Ally Donaldson, said: “Stirling will obviously be buoyed by a great result last week and are a very good team who are almost guaranteed their place in the top eight.
“After a difficult start, losing their first three matches like ourselves, their form has picked up considerably only losing once since then.
“Another week, another big match at Malleny Park.”
Currie team: Jamie Forbes; Barry Mansfield, Douglas Fife, Andy MacMahon, David Smith; Andrew Binikos, Chris Leck; John Cox, Fergus Scott, Ross Merriless, Andy Adam, Gary Temple, Steve Burton, Mike Entwhistle, Mark Cairns (captain).
Replacements: Billy Elmslie, Neil Scobie, Simon Marcell, Malcolm Peacock, Alan Whittingham.
Stirling County team: Ben Addison; Graeme Lindsay, Danny Gilmour, Brian Archibald, Ross Aitken; Stuart Edwards, Sean Kennedy; Mike McDonald, Alex Moffat (captain), Gary Mountford, Craig Deacons, Robert McAlpine, Tim Clarke, Robbie Boswell, Stevie Swindall.
Replacements: J. Graham, C. Hutton, R Leishman, S. Robertson, M. Doneghan.
Ayr v Hawick, Millbrae, 3pm
|Both teams will be desperate for a win this weekend. Ayr bring Cammy Taylor and Blair McPherson into the starting XV while Hawick’s backs are completely changed bar Greg Cottrell at 9.|
Ayr head coach, Kenny Murray, said: “The team is desperate to make amends for last week's defeat against Dundee. They are a well-organised side and took their chances but we committed too many errors.
“These mistakes prove costly at this level. Hawick, as ever, will have our full respect as they are always a competitive side and will wish to put in a good performance following the Currie match.
“It has been an exciting and interesting league this season with teams desperate to stay in the top eight and garner valuable points for British and Irish Cup qualification, so this is a crucial match for us.
“We expect another big crowd on Saturday and the players will want to send them away with a smile on their faces.”
Hawick head coaches, John Johnstone and Jim Renwick, said: “We welcome Rory Hutton back from Australia and introduce 4 young YM players into the squad.”
Ayr team: Grant Anderson; Steven Manning, Richard Dalgleish, Mark Stewart (captain), Cammy Taylor; Robbie Ferguson, AJ MacFarlane; TBC, Hayden Wisnewski, Gordon Sykes, Blair McPherson, Colin White, John Willis, Andy Dunlop, Graham Fisken.
Replacements: Stuart Fenwick, Craig Davidson, Ross Doneghan, Sylvain Diez, Murray McConnell.
Hawick team: Neil Renwick; Glynn Desport, Gary Johnstone, Graham Hogg, Craig Russell; Rory Hutton, Greg Cottrell; Rory Sutherland, Hue Scammell, Sean Linton, Barrie Keown, Keith Davies, Nick MacTaggart, Danny Landels, Bruce McNeil (captain).
Replacements: Lindsey Gibson, Stuart Graham, Jamie Tinlin, Chris Ritson, Steve Anderson.