Border and Edinburgh derbies top BT Premiership bill

Local derbies top the BT Premiership bill of fixtures that kick-off across the country tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 20 September).

In the first Border derby of the season, Hawick will welcome league leaders, Gala, to Mansfield Park, for what will double as their first defence of the Bill McLaren Shield.

Glasgow Hawks in action in the BT Premiership

The trophy returned to the home of its late namesake for the second time since its inaugural match in 2011, when Hawick beat Ayr 27-26 at Millbrae on Saturday.

Hawick head coach, Nikki Walker, said: “After a great result up in Ayr last Saturday everyone is looking forward to an important Border derby and a Bill McLaren Shield match.

Rory Hutton is on international duty with Scotland 7s and Gary Lowrie is injured, but these factors give Matty Douglas and Keith Davies the opportunity to step-up, having trained very hard and pushed for their place in a Hawick jersey.

“Also, Shaun Fairbairn has impressed recently playing for Hawick YM and thoroughly deserves his chance to play in the Premiership.

“We’re hoping a lot of supporters turn out tomorrow and we deliver them our first home win of the season.”

So far, nine of the current Premiership clubs have held the Bill McLaren Shield and only one has earned a coveted engraving.

Ayr had their name engraved on the Shield having held it for 16 weeks at the tail end of the 2012-13 season, while Stirling County are the only side not to have held it for any period of time.

In the capital there are two further derbies this Saturday.

Edinburgh Accies and Heriot’s meet at Raeburn Place, while Currie travel to Meggetland to face Boroughmuir.

In Glasgow, Hawks play Melrose on newly laid turf at Old Anniesland and Ayr travel to Bridgehaugh to meet Stirling County.

Glasgow Hawks head coach, Jamie Dempsey, said: “We have a massive game this week as both teams will be going all out to get the win.

Melrose have been challenged by injuries and availability early on and we anticipate a quality team travelling to face us at Old Anniesland tomorrow.

“We’re looking to further develop our game and execute the chances we have been creating lately.

“All things considered tomorrow’s tie should prove an exciting affair that will be full of fast and physical rugby.”

Wicus Blaauw (Melrose), from Edinburgh Rugby is the only professional player released to the clubs this weekend.

Tomorrow Scottish Rugby are reporting from Mansfield Park in the BT Premiership, Hawick v Gala, with Twitter updates also coming from around the country in the BT Leagues.

Follow @Scotlandteam on Twitter.

BT Premiership - Round 4

Glasgow Hawks v Melrose, Old Anniesland, 3pm

Glasgow Hawks team: Andy Fleming; Haddon McPherson, Robert Beattie, David Milne, Paul Ramsay; George Horne, Paddy Boyer; Steven Findlay (captain), Jack McFarlane, Brendan Cullinane, Andy Davidson, Sam Thomson, Tommy Spinks, Finlay Gilles and Andy Kirkland.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Gary Strain, Kenny Beattie, Neil Herron and Robbie Houliston.

Melrose team: Fraser Thomson (captain), Austin Lockington, Tito Mua, Andrew Nagle, Rory Tolland; Richard Mill, Tom Wilson; Nicky Little, Todd Pearce, Ewan McQuillin, James Head, Lewis Carmichael, Neil Irvine-Hess, Ruairi Knott and Ross Miller.
Replacements: Richard Ferguson, Wicus Blaauw, Stuart Johnson, Richard Taylor and Blair Hutchison.

Edinburgh Accies v Heriot’s, Raeburn Place, 3pm

Edinburgh Accies team: Ruaridh Young, Sam Pecqueur, Ewan Campbell, Robert Wilson, Jack Marples; Iain Chisholm, Ryan Godsmark; Duncan Morrison, Michael Liness, Lewis Niven, Jamie McCarthy, Edward Stuart, Jamie Winks, Jamie Sole and Ronan Seydak.
Replacements: David Bates, Clement Lacour, Robin Snape, Ian Vance and Matt Coupar.

Heriot’s team: Charlie Simpson; Colin Goudie, Keith Buchan, Rory Carmichael, Harry Boisseau; Gregor McNeish, Graham Wilson; Nathan Borel, David McGregor, Struan Cessford, Russell Nimmo, Ben Cogley, Jack Turley, Chris Mulligan and Jason Hill.
Replacements: Stewart Mustard, Blair Couper or Cameron Fenton, Jack McLean, Stuart Edwards and Max Learmonth.

Stirling County v Ayr, Bridgehaugh, 3pm 

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 McDonald and Aubrey Mncube.
Replacements: John Graham, Colin Hutton, Euan Dewar, Stevie Neil and Alex Black.

Ayr team: Grant Anderson; Cameron Taylor, Richard Dalgleish, Dean Kelbrick (captain), Kerr Gossman; Danny McCluskey, David Armstrong; Nick Cox, Fergus Scott, Fraser Watt, Andrew Dunlop, Scott Sutherland, Graham Fisken, Will Bordill and Blair McPherson.
Replacements: James Malcolm, George Hunter, Stuart Fenwick, Ben Johnson and Sylvain Diez.

Hawick v Gala, Mansfield Park, 3pm 

Hawick team: Lee Armstrong; Scott Peffers, Nikki Walker, Gary Johnstone, Scott McLeod; Matthew Douglas, Greg Cottrell; Shawn Muir, Lindsay Gibson, Matt Landles, Mike McKee, Finlay Simpson, Bruce McNeil, Rory Scott and Keith Davies.
Replacements: Ross Graham, A N Other, Stuart Graham, Shaun Fairbairn and Sean Goodfellow.

Gala team: Craig Dodds; Grant Sommerville, Ewan Scott, Alan Emond, Gavin Young; David O’Hagan, George Graham (captain); Luke Pettie, Russell Anderson, Callum MacIntosh, Chris Weir, Opeta Palepoi Gary Graham, Stevie Cairns and Ewan Dodd.
Replacements: Gary Robertson, Josh Irvine, Tom Weir, Rex Jeffries and Keith Young.

Boroughmuir v Currie, Meggetland, 3pm 

Boroughmuir team: Ed Farquharson; Rory Scott, Chris Hardie, Mark Hare, Jordan Edmunds; David Reekie, Jonny Adams; Robbie Wilson, Cal Davies, Jonny Latta, Adam Best, Trent Sutton, Craig Keddie, Andrew Rose and Iain Moddy.
Replacements: Sam Bingham, Dan O’Connell, Joni Hare, Charlie Purdon and Graeme Blackhall.

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