Gala out to make amends in season opener

Gala will be out to turn the heartbreak of last season’s finale into joy tomorrow (Saturday 30 August) as they go head-to-head with the same opponents they met back in March.

The Maroons ended their 2013-14 campaign, in defeat against Ayr at Netherdale, 34-33, which ultimately halted their hopes of lifting the Premiership trophy for the first time in 32 years.

BT Premiership teams at BT leagues launch

Gala head coach, George Graham, said: “Millbrae is going to be the place to be tomorrow.  Historically contests between Gala and Ayr have been tight, with the match back in March underlining that.

There is a new coaching set-up at Ayr and I’m sure Calum [Forrester] and Scott [Forrest] will be adding their own brand of rugby to an already exciting team.”

BT Premiership defending champions, Melrose will begin their 2014-15 league campaign against Edinburgh Accies at home, while Boroughmuir, who return to the top-flight division this season will open against Stirling County at Meggetland.

Some four miles away, last season’s Cup champions and the inaugural Charity Shield winners, Heriot’s will welcome Glasgow Hawks, in a re-match of the 2014 Cup final, to Goldenacre.

Boroughmuir number 8, Iain Moody, said: "We're really excited about the weekend's match and I feel like we're back where we belong, having gone down and bounced straight back-up.

"We have recruited well this season with the likes of Craig Keddie and Mike Entwhistle coming in from Gala and Currie and I believe our pack is as strong as it can be for tomorrow.  

"Stirling are a good outfit who have recent expereince in the British & Irish Cup, but I know we can back ourselves at home and hopefully come away with a win."

Finally, former Scotland internationalists Nikki Walker, capped 24 times for his country and Ben Cairns, who won seven caps, will go head-to-head in a battle of their own as they lead their sides, Hawick and Currie for the first time in the Premiership at Malleny Park. 

Pro-players available to the clubs this weekend are Murray McConnell (Ayr), Damien Hoyland (Melrose) and Alex Toolis (Edinburgh Accies).

Scottish Rugby will be reporting from Millbrae and Goldenacre tomorrow, with Twitter updates from across the country as the BT Premiership and BT Cup competitions get underway.

Follow Scottish Rugby on Twitter, @Scotlandteam.

Boroughmuir v Stirling County 

Boroughmuir v Stirling County, Meggetland, 3pm

Boroughmuir team: Ian Martin; Rory Scott, Chris Hardie, Stevie Wilson, Jordan Edmunds; Graeme Blackhall, Jonny Adams; Robbie Wilson, Carl Davies, Jonny Latta, Adam Best, Trent Sutton, Magnus Bradbury, Mike Entwhistle and Iain Moody.
Replacements: Sam Bingham, Dan O’Connell, Will Kay, Craig Keddie and Sam Johnson.

Stirling County team: Jamie Urquhart; Matt Lamb, Archie Russell, Danny Gilmour, Craig Robertson; Fraser Lyle, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, Reyner Kennedy, Gary Mountford, Matteo Minari, Ruaridh Leishman, Struan Robertson, Shaun MacDonald and Aubrey Mncube.
Replacements: John Graham, Billy Dineen, Euan Dewar, Matt Smith and Alex Black.

Referee: James McPhail

 Ayr v Gala

Ayr v Gala, Millbrae, 3pm

Ayr team: Grant Anderson; Craig Gossman, Ross Curle, Dean Kelbrick (captain), Kerr Gossman; Daniel McCluskey, David Armstorng; Nick Cox, Fergus Scott, Fraser Watt, Robert McAlpine, Scott Sutherland, Callum Templeton, Andrew Dunlop and Blair McPherson.
Replacements: James Malcolm, Stuart Fenwick, Graham Fisken, Murray McConnell and Gavin Lowe. 

Gala team: Craig Dodds; Graham Speirs, Chris Auld, Alan Emond, Grant Sommerville; Ruairi Howarth, George Graham; Luke Pettie, Russell Anderson, Ewan Johnstone, Chris Weir, Opeta Palepoi, Gary Graham, Stevie Cairns and Tom Weir.
Replacements: Callum MacIntosh, Josh Irvine, Ewan Dodds, David O’Hagan and Ewan Scott.

Referee: Neil Paterson

 Melrose v Edinburgh Accies

Melrose v Edinburgh Accies, The Greenyards, 3pm

Melrose team: Fraser Thomson (captain); Tito Mua, Austin Lockington, Blair Hutchison, Damien Hoyland; Richard Mill, Tom Wilson; Nicky Little, Todd Pearce, Ewan McQuillin, Lewis Carmichael, James Head, Andrew Nagle, Ruaridh Knott and Graham Dodds.
Replacements: Richard Ferguson, Colin Arthur, Ross Miller, Murdo McAndrew and Rory Tolland.

Edinburgh Accies team: Ruairidh Young; Josh Pecqueur, Nyle Godsmark, Robert Wilson, Sam Pecqueur; Iain Chisholm, Alex Glashan; Duncan Morrison, Michael Liness, Lewis Niven, Greg Campbell, Ed Stuart, Jamie McCarthy, Jamie Sole and Tom Stuart.
Replacements: Liam Launders, David Bates, Alex Toolis, Ryan Godsmark and Euan Campbell.

Referee: Mike Adamson

 Heriot's v Glasgow Hawks

Heriot’s v Glasgow Hawks, Goldenacre, 3pm

Heriot’s team: Colin Goudie; Liam Steele, Max Learmonth, Cameron Ferguson, Harry Boisseau; Rory Carmichael, Graham Wilson; Gavin Cameron, Blair Couper, Struan Cessford, Russell Nimmo, Ben Cogley, Murray Douglas, Jack Turley (captain) and Jason Hill.
Replacements: Nathan Borel, Chris Mulligan, Keith Buchan, Gregor McNeish and Charlie Simpson.

Glasgow Hawks team: Robbie Houliston; Haddon McPherson, Andy Fleming, Neil Herron, Erlend Oag; George Horne, Paddy Boyer; Gary Strain, Jack McFarlane, Brendan Cullinane, Andy Linton, Sam Thomson, Andy Kirkland, Finlay Gillies and Kenny Beattie.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Steven Findlay, Andy Davidson, Craig Brodie and Davie Milne.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy

 Currie v Hawick

Currie v Hawick, Malleny Park, 3pm 

Currie team: Ruaraidh Smith; Harvey Elms, Fidias Efthymiou, Matt McPhillips, Chris Logan; Joe Reynolds, Richard Snedden; John Cox, Matt Goodwin, Mike Erskine, Gary Temple, Jamie Gray, Mike Vernal, Malcolm Peacocok and Ross Weston (captain).
Replacements: Graeme Carson, Marko Mladenovic, Denis Pech, Duncan Swanson and Adam Alexander.

Hawick team: Lee Armstrong; Nikki Walker, Scott McLeod, Rory Hutton (captain), Neil McColm; Ali Weir, Sean Goodfellow; Shawn Muir, Lindsey Gibson, Matt Landels, Bruce McNeil, Kieran Willison, Stuart Graham, Rory Scott and Keith Davies. 
Replacements: Ross Graham, Nick MacTaggart, Michael Robertson, Bruce Campbell and Gary Johnstone.

Referee: Kevin White