Ayr look to back up Ulster success

Ayr will travel to Northern Ireland tonight, for the first return leg of the British & Irish Cup, where they’ll hope for a repeat of last weekend’s victory over Ulster Ravens (kick-off 7.30pm).

The side beat the Ulster men, 41-22, at Millbrae last Saturday, with a stand-out performance from stand-off Finn Russell. Russell moves into the centre this evening.

The side will once again be bolstered with four players from the professional game.

Turning out for Ayr this weekend will be Scott Wight, James Eddie, Finlay Gillies and Gordon Reid, all from the Glasgow Warriors.

Richie VernonStirling County will also be on the road this evening. They meet Nottingham at Meadow Lane for an 8pm kick-off, where they’ll look to make amends for their 50-7 defeat last week at Bridgehaugh.

They are supported by the presence of internationalists Henry Pyrgos and Richie Vernon, the latter wearing the number 13 jersey.

Head coach, Graeme Young, said: “We have made a series of changes this weekend, due to injury and player availability. This has opened up an opportunity for some of our emerging players to shine at the highest level of the club game.

“Last weekend, we were impressed with Nottingham’s set-piece and clinical finishing. Our task tonight will be to close the gap between the two sides and continue to benefit from the exposure at this level of the game.

“Martin Haag, who I know well, will have his team ready for us on their home patch and we will be doing our best to represent the Scottish rugby community and make our supporters proud.”

At home, tomorrow, are Edinburgh Accies, London Scottish and Gala, they welcome London Welsh, Pontypridd and Bristol to Raeburn Place, The Richmond Athletics Ground and Netherdale respectively. Edinburgh Accies kick-off at 2pm, while the remainder of the fixtures begin at 3pm.

Turning out from Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors this weekend are Scott Wight, James Eddie, Finlay Gillies, Gordon Reid (all Ayr), Richie Vernon, Henry Pyrgos (both Stirling County), Stuart McInally, Lewis Niven, Robert McAlpine and Alex Toolis (all Edinburgh Accies).

The RBS Regional Cups also continue with fixtures throughout Scotland. The first semi-finals will take place with Boroughmuir playing Heriot’s and Watsonians facing Currie in the penultimate round of the Edinburgh Cup.

Also the first final berth in the West Cup will be booked by the end of tomorrow with Glasgow Hawks and Marr meeting at Old Anniesland.

Ulster Ravens v Ayr, Deramore Park, 7.30pm 

Ayr team: Grant Anderson (captain); Richard Dalgleish, Robbie Fergusson, Finn Russell, Ross Curle; Scott Wight, Peter Jericevich; George Hunter, Fergus Scott, D’Arcy Rae, Callum Templeton, Graham Williamson, James Eddie, Andrew Dunlop and Peter McCallum.

Replacements: Finlay Gillies, Gordon Reid, Denford Mutamangira, Benn Cogley, Murray McConnell, Kerr Gossman and Craig Gossman. 

Nottingham v Stirling County, Meadow Lane, 8pm 

Stirling County team: Brian Archibald; Matt Lamb, Richie Vernon, Danny Gilmour, Rory Hughes; Fraser Lyle, Henry Pyrgos; Kris Burney, Reyner Kennedy, Colin Hutton, Ruaridh Leishman, Euan Dewar, Struan Robertson, Shaun McDonald and Steve Swindall.

Replacements: Jamie Bhatti, Ross Murray, Will Bordill, Jack Dunn, Andy Watt, Joff Hope and Craig Robertson. 

Edinburgh Accies v London Welsh, Raeburn Place, 2pm 

Edinburgh Accies team: Jamie Sole; Nyle Godsmark, Ewan Campbell, Iain Berthinussen (captain), Jamie Farndale; Iain Chisholm, Alex Black; Alex Allan, Stuart McInally, Lewis Niven, Robert McAlpine, Alex Toolis, Mike Coman, Callum Reid and Hamish Watson.

Replacements: Duncan Morrison, Michael Liness, Phil Cringle, Ronan Seydak, Tom Stuart, Mike Campbell and Sam Pecqueur. 

Referee: Stuart Gaffikin (RFU) 

London Scottish v Pontypridd, Richmond Athletics Ground, 3pm

London Scottish team: Jim Thompson; Peter Homan, Oli Grove, Andy Reay, Miles Mantella; Lee Millar, Sam Stuart; Eric Fry, Adam Kwasnicki, Tomas Francis, Tyler Hotson, David Lyons, Chevvy Pennycook, Tommy Spinks and Mark Bright (captain).

Replacements: Tedd Stagg, Mark Irish, Paul Spivey, Matt Everard, Jordi Pasqualin, Dan Newton and James Love.

Gala v Bristol, Netherdale, 3pm 

Gala team: TBC

Replacements: TBC

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU) 

RBS Border Regional Cup

  • Hawick v Kelso, Mansfield Park, 3pm
  • Selkirk v Melrose, Philiphaugh, 3pm 

RBS Caledonia Regional Cup

  • Aberdeen Grammar v Dundee HSFP, Rubislaw, 2pm
  • Kirkcaldy v Falkirk, Beveridge Park, 2pm
  • Howe of Fife v Aberdeenshire, Duffus Park, 2pm 

RBS Edinburgh Regional Cup

  • Boroughmuir v Heriot’s, Meggetland, 3pm (semi-final)
  • Watsonians v Currie, Myreside, 3pm (semi-final)

RBS West Regional Cup

  • Glasgow Hawks v Marr, Old Anniesland, 2pm (semi-final)
  • GHA v Dalziel, Braidholm, 2pm