BT Premiership Preview: Chieftains take on Watsonians in the season’s first Edinburgh derby

Currie Chieftains will host Watsonians at Malleny Park tomorrow (Saturday) in the second round of the 2017/18 BT Premiership.

Fresh from a convincing away win over Hawick in round one, Currie will play their first home match since rebranding as ‘Currie Chieftains’ earlier this year.

Visitors Watsonians will be looking to bounce back after a defeat at the hands of last year’s runners-up, Melrose – a game which saw ‘Sonians score three of 11 tries on the road at the Greenyards.

Captain Robbie Nelson will lead out the Chieftains once again while Watsonians welcome released Edinburgh Rugby players Neil Cochrane, Glenn Bryce and Jamie Farndale.

Currie Chieftains Head Coach, Ben Cairns, is looking forward to returning to Malleny Park under the new branding but is keeping his feet firmly on the ground after an encouraging start to the season.

He said: “It’s a local derby for the first match at Malleny this season so we would hope to see a big crowd and we will do our best to provide an entertaining match.

“We were happy to get our season off to a winning start last week down at Mansfield Park.

“However, we are mindful that there are a number of areas to tighten up on if we are to get our first win at home this season.”

Cairns is wary of the threat posed by Watsonians, particularly after a tough start to their season.

He added: “They will be buoyed by their pro release this week and we know we will face the backlash for the way things unfolded for them at the Greenyards.

Watsonians have gone through a lot of change over the off-season and we know that last week’s result was not a fair reflection of the quality they possess both in their playing personnel and in their coaching staff."

The coaching staff at Watsonians recognise the challenge they face in raising their game to take on the Chieftains away from home.

Head Coach Steve Lawrie said: “The Chieftains got off to a flying start with five points at Hawick which is always a tough place to go.

“They have a settled squad that Ben Cairns and his staff have moulded into a consistent top four team over the last three seasons.

“Having taken our medicine last week against a well-organised and abrasive Melrose team, we know that the members of Watsonian FC deserve a much-improved effort from us.”

Elsewhere, reigning champions Ayr, following their last-minute victory at Boroughmuir last week, play their first home game against Glasgow Hawks while Stirling County play Hawick.

Melrose will be looking to build on their emphatic win over Watsonians against Boroughmuir and newly promoted Marr will host their first ever BT Premiership home game versus Heriot’s.

Currie Chieftains v Watsonians will be live-tweeted from @Scotlandteam.

Clubs from across BT National Leagues 1, 2 and 3 will also continue their season on Saturday. For a full list of fixtures, visit scottishrugby.org.

BT Premiership Round 2 – Saturday 9 September

Currie Chieftains v Watsonians, Malleny Park, 3pm

Currie Chieftains: Glen Faulds; Ben Robbins, Harvey Elms, Robbie Nelson CAPTAIN, Cammy Gray; Jamie Forbes, Charlie Shiel; John Cox, Graeme Carson, A.P. McWilliam, Vince Wright, Mike Vernel, Stephen Ainslie, Thomas Gordon, Rhys Davies Replacements: Callum MacKintosh, Kris Burney, Hamish Bain, Scott McGinley, Gavin Lowe

Watsonians: Andrew Chalmers; Mark Bertram, Michael Allen, DJ Innes, Glenn Bryce; Rory Hutton, Willie Thomson; Nathan Borel, Neil Cochrane, Kyle Whyte, Jamie Hodgson, Craig Borthwick CAPTAIN, Michael Fedo, Angus Duckett, Euan Dods Replacements: Sean Crombie, Finn Hobbis, Andre O’Neill, Eaun McKirdy, Jamie Farndale

Stirling County v Hawick, Bridgehaugh, 3pm

Stirling County: Jonny Hope CAPTAIN; Logan Trotter, Owen Jarvie, GrahamGilliland, Matt Lamb; Logan Bonar, Peter Jericevich; Mike Macdonald, Reyner Kennedy, Adam Nicol, Callum Hunter-Hill, James Pow, Andrews Grant-Suttie, Shaun Macdonald, Ruairidh Leishman Replacements: Matthew Emmison, Remy Cheis, Joe Beech, David Montgomery, Ruairidh Swan

Hawick: Tom Brown; Ross Combe, Lee Armstrong, Dom Buckley, Lewis Ferguson; Ali Weir, Gary Munro; Nicky Little, Fraser Renwick, Kevin Bryce, Craig Hamilton, Dalton Redpath, Guy Graham, Keith Davies, Bruce McNeil CAPTAIN Replacements: Matt Carryer, Shawn Muir, Stuart Graham, Greg Cottrell, Kyle Brunton

Melrose v Boroughmuir, The Greenyards, 3pm

Melrose:  Fraser Thomson; Ross McCann, Nyle Godsmark, Craig Jackson, Sam Pecqueur: Jason Baggott, Murdo McAndrew; Grant Shiels, Russel Anderson, Nick Beavon, Angus Runciman, Ruaridh Knott, Ali Miller, Grant Runciman CAPTAIN, Ian Moody Replacements: Richard Ferguson, Ruairi Mcleod, James Head, Bruce Colvine, James Johnstone

Boroughmuir: Greg Cannie; Gavin Welsh, Ciaran Whyte, Mark Hare, Blair Mills; Chris Laidlaw CAPTAIN, Sean Kennedy; Ross Dunbar, Jonny Matthews, Dan Winning, Craig Keddie, Lewis Carmichael, Aubrey Mcube, Matt Walker, Tom Drennan Replacements: Cal Davies, Dale Robertson, Don Marek, Jonny Adams, Sam Chalmers

Marr v Heriot’s, Fullarton Park, 3pm

Marr: Craig Kolarik; Scott Bickerstaff, Conor Bickerstaff, Colin Sturgeon, Richard Dalgleish; Dougie Steele, Kaleem Barreto; Andrew Acton, Stephen Adair, William Farquhar, Kyle Hatherall, Ewan Bulger, MacKenzie Pearce, Angus Johnston, Ross Miller Replacements: Ollie Rossi, Greg Jackson, Ross Jackson, Gregor Ness, Tom Steven

Heriot’s: Ross Jones; Robert Kay, Liam Steele, Robbie Mulveena, Craig Robertson; Stuart Edwards, Tom Wilson; Murray McCallum, Michael Liness CAPTAIN, Struan Cessford, Clarke Smith, Adam Sinclair, Michael Maltman, Jack McLean, Callum Marshall Replacements: Logan Sinclair, Martin Bouab, Nick Sutherland, Hugh Fraser, Charlie Simpson

Ayr v Glasgow Hawks, Millbrae, 3pm

Ayr: Grant Anderson; Scott Lyle, Danny McCluskey, Stafford McDowall, Craig Gossman; Frazier Climo, David Armstrong; Ryan Grant, Lewis Anderson, Robbie Smith, Robert McAlpine, Scott Sutherland, Blair Macpherson, Tommy Spinks, Pete McCallum CAPTAIN Replacements: David Young, Adam Prentice, George Stokes, Paddy Dewhirst, Brandon Thomson

Glasgow Hawks: Robert Beattie; Kyle Rowe, Brendan McGroarty CAPTAIN, Jack Steele, Sam Yawayawa; Ross Thompson, Paddy Boyer; Steven Findlay, Grant Stewart, Lewis Skinner, Andrew Kirkland, Kiran McDonald, Stephen Leckey, Cammy Fenton, Jake Eaglesham Replacements: Oliver Blackwell, Gary Strain, Hamish Livingston, Callum Harrison, Davie Milne