Scotland Club XV and Heriot’s Head Coach, Phil Smith, has named his side to face England Counties, this Friday (24 February) at Birmingham Moseley (kick-off 7.45pm).
The selected cohort includes many players from club sides who have dominated the BT Premiership this season with Ayr’s Pete McCallum named as captain at number 8.
Of the 23-man squad, there are 11 debutants across the starting XV and replacements with a new half-back partnership in Melrose’s Murdo McAndrew and Boroughmuir’s Chris Laidlaw set to pull the strings on Friday night.
In the backs, key performers feature from last season’s 57-27 blitz of England Counties at Netherdale, with Melrose’s Fraser Thomson named as vice-captain at full-back, and Currie’s Harvey Elms and Boroughmuir’s Jordan Edmunds positioned on the right and left wings respectively.
Last season’s Scotland Club XV captain and Ayr centre, Ross Curle, partners Melrose debutant and BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 player, George Taylor, who lines-up at inside centre.
In the forwards, Glasgow Hawks' Stephen Findlay and Ayr's Steven Longwell step out in the Club XV front-row for the first time and are joined by Michael Liness from Heriot’s at hooker.
Robert McAlpine of Ayr and Callum Marshall of Heriot’s make up the second-row formation with Marshall set to make his debut.
The back-row, led by McCallum, will see openside Grant Runciman pull on the Club XV shirt for the first time while Melrose teammate Iain Moody is named on the blindside flank.
Scotland Club XV Head Coach, Phil Smith, said: “I have selected players who have been on genuine form in the BT Premiership and who are best representing the Scottish club game.
We have some new faces joining the Club XV this season so have blended youth and experience across the match day squad for our visit to England Counties.
“Last year’s squad enjoyed a terrific victory over the English and we aim to replicate a similar performance when we face them on their home turf. The boys will compete as they do every week at club level in what will be an exciting contest between the two sides.”
15. Fraser Thomson (Melrose)
14. Harvey Elms (Currie)
13. Ross Curle (Ayr)
12. George Taylor** (Melrose)
11. Jordan Edmunds* (Boroughmuir)
10. Chris Laidlaw (Boroughmuir)
9. Murdo McAndrew (Melrose)
1. Stephen Findlay (Glasgow Hawks)
2. Michael Liness (Heriot’s)
3. Steven Longwell (Ayr)
4. Robert McAlpine (Ayr)
5. Callum Marshall (Heriot’s)
6. Iain Moody (Melrose)
7. Grant Runciman (Melrose)
8. Pete McCallum CAPTAIN (Ayr)
16. Russell Anderson (Melrose)
17. Gary Strain (Glasgow Hawks)
18. John Cox (Currie)
19. Blair MacPherson (Ayr)
20. Will Bordill (Ayr)
21. David Armstrong (Ayr)
22. Robbie Nelson (Currie)
23. Kerr Gossman (Glasgow Hawks)
* BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 1 player
** BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 player