Stakes high throughout RBS Premiership this weekend

After moving top of the RBS Premiership last weekend and claiming the Bill McLaren Shield in the meantime v Gala, Melrose return to The Greenyards tomorrow to play Stirling County (2.30pm) and make their first attempt at defending the trophy.

Doug Hall and Jerry Yanuyanutawa will both turn-out for Ayr this weekendGala, who sit two points behind the league leaders, but with a game in hand, are also at home tomorrow. They meet Edinburgh Accies (3pm).

The two Border sides have secured their places in next season’s British & Irish Cup, whereas Heriot’s (third placed) and Ayr (fourth placed), are still in touching distance of Edinburgh Accies in the middle of the table, making for an exciting competition for the last two cross-border places.

Edinburgh Accies head coach, Jonny Else, said: “We travel down to the Borders knowing that we must be on top form to match Gala's strength. Gala are formidable opponents at the best of times - but at home even more so.

In the game earlier in the season Gala looked slick and dangerous every time they attacked. We must simply be at our very best in both attack and defence this weekend.”

Heriot’s are on the road to Aberdeen Grammar tomorrow (2.30pm) at Rubislaw, while Ayr travel to Mansfield Park to play Hawick (3pm). Finally, Currie will be determined to close the gap between themselves and Stirling County as they try to climb out of the relegation zone. They play Glasgow Hawks at Old Anniesland (3pm).

Turning out from Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors this weekend are Alex Toolis, Hamish Watson, Alex Black (all Edinburgh Accies) Leone Nakarawa (Glasgow Hawks), Nikki Walker (Hawick), Dougie Hall, James Eddie and Jerry Yanuyanutawa (all Ayr).

Aberdeen Grammar v Heriot’s, Rubislaw, 2.30pm

Aberdeen Grammar team: Stevie Aitken; Erlend Oag, Harry Duthie, Greig Ryan (captain), Angus Rennie; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sean O’Connor, Struan Cessford, Stuart Smith, Jamie Metcalfe, Sam Bingham, Tony McGuiness and Tom Preece.

Replacements: Matt Schosser, Chris Allan, Ally Mackie, Mark Ryan and Sam Ryan.

Heriot’s team: Colin Goudie; Liam Steele, Keith Buchan, Rory Carmichael, Harry Boisseau; OJ Brown, Graham Wilson; Nathan Borel, George Turner, Stewart Mustard, Murray Douglas, Ken MacKenzie, Jason Hill, Chris Mulligan and Jack Turley (captain).

Replacements: Malcolm Welch, Scott Burnside, Robbie Tait, Kit Gammell and David McMaster.

Referee: Neil Paterson


Melrose v Stirling County, The Greenyards, 2.30pm

Melrose team: Austin Lockington; Callum Anderson, Blair Hutchison, Joe Helps, Alan Dodds; Richard Mill, Bruce Colvine (captain); Nicky Little, Todd Pearce, Gary Holborn, Graeme Dodds, James Head, Peter Eccles, Grant Runciman and Andrew Nagle.

Replacements: Richard Ferguson, Nicholas Beavon, Ruaridh Knott, Andrew Skeen and Richard Taylor.

Stirling County team: Brian Archibald; Graham Lindsay, Danny Gilmour, Fraser Lyle, Rory Hughes; Stuart Edwards, AJ McFarlane; Jamie Bhatti, Alex Moffat, Garry Mountford, Euan Dewar, Craig Deacons, Struan Robertson, Will Bordill and Jamie Swanson.

Replacements: Kris Burney, Reyner Kennedy, Ruaridh Leishman or Matt Larsen, Stevie Swindall and Ben Addison. 

Referee: Peter Allan


Gala v Edinburgh Accies, Netherdale, 3pm

Gala team: Andy McLean; Gerald Sibanda, Chris Auld, Ewan Scott, Graham Speirs; David O’Hagan, George Graham (captain); Rory Sutherland, Callum Mackintosh, Ewan McQuillin, Craig Borthwick, Opeta Palepoi, Gary Graham, Stevie Cairns, Ewan Dods.

Replacements: Lewis Bertram, Scott Chapman, Josh Irvine, Alan Emond and Gregor Mein.

Edinburgh Accies team: Jamie Sole; Nyle Godsmark, Ewen Campbell, Iain Berthinussen (captain), Chris Dean; Alex Blair, Mike Campbell; Duncan Morrison, Michael Liness, Shaun Strudwick, Jamie McCarthy, Alex Toolis, Robin Snape, Hamish Watson and Callum Reid.

Replacements: Callum Black, Clem Lacqor, Ronan Seydak, Alex Black and Ruaridh Bonner.

Referee: Cammy Rudkin


Glasgow Hawks v Currie, Old Anniesland, 3pm

Glasgow Hawks team: Robert Beattie; Paul Ramsay, Ally MacLay, Jack Steele, Haddon McPherson; Mike Martin, Dan Smart; Steven Findlay, Jack McFarlane, Brendan Cullinane, Andy Linton (captain), Angus Hamilton, Andy Redmayne, Stephen Leckie and Andy Kirkland. 

Replacements: Calum Kerr, Chris Barnes, Leone Nakawara, Paddy Boyer and Andy White.

Currie team: George Horne; Harvey Elms, Joe Reynolds, Ethan Pollock, Ruaridh Smith; James Semple, Richard Snedden; John Cox, David Cherry, Alastair Hamilton, Gary Temple, Petre Netrascu, Mike Vernal, Mark Cairns (captain) and Ross Weston.

Replacements: Graeme Carson, Fraser Watts, Gary Temple, Charlie MacLean and Adam Alexander.

Referee: James Matthew


Hawick v Ayr, Mansfield Park, 3pm

Hawick team: Jake Evens; Nikki Walker, Lee Armstrong, Rory Scott, Neil McColm; Rory Hutton, Greg Cottrell (captain); Shawn Muir, Lindsey Gibson, Wullie Blacklock, Kieran Willison, Nick MacTaggart, Bruce McNeil, Stuart Graham and Keith Davies.

Replacements: Matt Landels, Liam Launders, Craig Smith, Ali Weir and Steven Anderson.

Ayr team: Grant Anderson (captain); Craig Gossman, Robbie Fergusson, Dean Kelbrick, Kerr Gossman; Finn Russell, Murray McConnell; George Hunter, Dougie Hall, Nick Cox, Callum Templeton, Scott Sutherland, James Eddie, Andrew Dunlop and Peter McCallum.

Replacements: Fergus Scott, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Graham FIsken, Peter Jericevich and Ross Curle.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy