This weekend in the RBS Premiership, Hawick will have their first chance to reclaim the Bill McLaren Shield, since the prestigious trophy was first contested in September 2011, when they travel to Raeburn Place to play Edinburgh Accies.
For Hawick replacement stand-off, Rory Hutton, it’s a massive match to be reintroduced to the Premiership as he returns from a knee injury.
He said: “The plan is to ease myself back in and get some game time under my belt, so I’m really looking forward to getting on the pitch and taking it from there.
“The Bill McLaren Shield will definitely add a big incentive to this game, Bill means so much to the town, so to be able to bring it down the road would be great.
“That isn’t the only reason we need a win though. We need to get one on the board to avoid being left behind in the league. We’ve been close the first two weeks, so we’re hoping to get it right this weekend.”
Currie and Ayr will look to make amends for a tough start to their respective seasons when they meet at Millbrae tomorrow. Currie are the only team yet to win a game and Ayr suffered a heavy home defeat to Melrose last weekend.
Currie head coach, Ally Donaldson, said: “Going to Millbrae is always a formidable task and Ayr’s defeat last week and the naming of a strong side for tomorrow does not make this any easier.
“Some of our young players are beginning to front-up and are benefitting from the experience. However, we made too many basic errors and if we do that against the calibre of this Ayr side we will be severely punished.
“After missing last week’s match we’re glad to have Ross Weston and Mark Cairns back and Andrew Turnbull joins us from the pro-ranks once again.”
In the Borders, current league leaders, Melrose return home to the Greenyards to play Glasgow Hawks, while neighbours Gala welcome Aberdeen Grammar to Netherdale.
Melrose head coach, John Dalziel, said: “After a good win last weekend away to Ayr both the players and coaches are very aware of the importance of backing up this victory.
“Despite the win, we’re under no illusion as to where we need to improve. We have focussed on these areas this week as we prepare for what needs to be another huge performance against a dangerous Hawks side.
“We’re delighted to welcome back former Melrose favourite, Mark Robertson, who has been released by Scotland 7s.”
Aberdeen Grammar head coach, Kevin Wyness, said: “Last week’s second half against Edinburgh Accies, was simply not good enough for this level of rugby.
“The squad are really looking forward to getting back on the field to make amends. However, Gala will also be hurting after their loss to Heriot’s and I’m sure George [Graham] will have his players primed for our visit.”
Finally, Stirling County and Heriot’s will look to build on last week’s victories when they lock horns at Bridgehaugh.
Heriot’s head coach, Phil Smith, said: “Despite everyone else's shock at our comeback last week, we did not see it as being surprising, because we knew that if we put everything we’d been working on together, we would get our reward.
“The task for us now is to back-up that performance and begin the match much better. It is our priority this week to come out the traps.”
“Michael Maltman and James Fleming have been released by Scotland 7s and we have fitted them into the team accordingly.”
A series of professionals will help bolster the strength of some of the Premiership teams tomorrow. Scotland 7s’ James Johnstone, Michael Fedo (both Hawick), Andrew Turnbull (Currie), Struan Dewar, Mark Robertson (both Melrose), Michael Maltman and James Fleming (Heriot’s) will all return to the XVs game, while Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors players Alex Black (Edinburgh Accies), Alun Walker (Melrose) Dougie Hall, James Eddie (both Ayr), Jon Welsh, Finlay Gillies (both Glasgow Hawks) Josh Strauss (Aberdeen Grammar) and Tom Ryder (Stirling County) are given game time.
All matches will kick-off at 3pm tomorrow.
Edinburgh Accies v Hawick, Raeburn Place, 3pm
Edinburgh Accies team: Jamie Sole; Jamie Farndale, Ewen Campbell, Ruaridh Bonner, Nyle Godsmark; Alex Blair, Alex Black; Alex Allan, Michael Liness, Phil Cringle, Greg Campbell (captain), Jamie McCarthy, Neil Aitken, Robin Snape and Tom Drennan.
Replacements: Duncan Morrison, Shaun Strudwick, Andrew Findlater, Mike Campbell and Chris Dean.
Hawick team: Neil Renwick; Scott McLeod, James Johnstone, Lee Armstrong, Greg Anderson; Ally Weir, Gary Jonstone; Shawn Muir, Lindsey Gibson, Liam Launders, Rob McAlpine, Kieran Willison, Bruce McNeil, Michael Fedo and Keith Davies.
Replacements: Hue Scammell, Nick Mactaggart, Rory Scott, Rory Hutton and James Parker.
Referee: James Matthew
Ayr v Currie, Millbrae, 3pm
Ayr team: Grant Anderson; Kerr Gossman, Robbie Fergusson, Dean Kelbrick, Craig Gossman; Finn Russell, Peter Jericevich; James Malcolm, Fergus Scott, Nick Cox, Scott Sutherland, Colin White, James Eddie, Graham Fisken and Calum Forrester (captain).
Replacements: Dougie Hall, Denford Mutamangira, Callum Templeton, Murray McConnell and Ross Curle.
Currie team: George Horne; Andrew Turnbull, Ethan Pollock, Jack Broadley, Ruaridh Smith; Joe Reynolds, Richard Snedden; John Cox, David Cherry, Alastair Hamilton, Gary Temple, Michael Vernal, Mark Cairns, Malcolm Peacock and Ross Weston.
Replacements: Isaac Miller, Graeme Carson, Elliot Mitchell, Karl Main and Alex Penman.
Referee: Lloyd Linton
Melrose v Glasgow Hawks, The Greenyards, 3pm
Melrose team: Austin Lockington; Damien Hoyland, Andrew Skeen, Joe Helps, Mark Robertson; Richard Mill, Bruce Colvine; Nicky Little, Richard Ferguson, Nick Beavon, Ross Miller, Ross Ovens, Peter Eccles, Grant Runciman and Graeme Dodds.
Replacements: Alun Walker, Gary Holborn, Struan Dewar, Tom Wilson and Allan Dodds.
Glasgow Hawks team: James Gormley; Tom Steven, Ally MacLay, Jack Steele, Ross McLymont; Mike Adamson, Hadden McPherson; Steven Findlay, Finlay GIllies, Jon Welsh, Andy Linton, Rory McKay, Andy Kirkland, Stephen Leckie and Ross Miller (captain).
Replacements: Callum Kerr, John Lohoar, Peter Redmayne, David Milne and Robert Beattie.
Referee: Andrew McMenemy
Gala v Aberdeen Grammar, Netherdale, 3pm
Gala team: TBC
Aberdeen Grammar team: Alex Ratcliffe; Calum Gordon, Harry Duthie, Will Wardlaw, Grant Walker; Graeme Clow, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sean O’Connor, Struan Cessford, Callum Harvey, Jamie Metcalfe, Greig Ryan (captain), Tony McGuiness and Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Sam Bingham, Matt Schosser, Rob Cessford, Mark Ryan and Luke Earle-Wright.
Referee: Gary Gordon
Stirling County v Heriot’s, Bridgehaugh, 3pm
Stirling County team: Joff Hope; Graham Lindsey, Ben Addison, Brian Archibald, Rory Hughes; Stuart Edwards, Colin Turnbull; Jamie Bhatti, Alex Moffat, Colin Hutton, Ruaridh Leishman, Tom Ryder, Stevie Swindall, Sean McDonald and Jamie Swanson.
Replacements: Reyner Kennedy, Kris Burney, Matt Larsen, Bengy Bersanti and Matt Lamb.
Heriot’s team: Liam Steele; Colin Goudie, Keith Buchan, Cameron Ferguson, Harry Boisseau; Max Nimmo, Graham Wilson; Craig Owenson, George Turner, Gavin Cameron, Murray Douglas, Russell Nimmo, Michael Maltman, Alex Henderson and Jason Hill.
Replacements: Kevin Bryce, Stewart Mustard, Chris Mulligan, Jack Turley and James Fleming.
Referee: Cammy Rudkin