BT Premiership PREVIEW | Hawick prepare for tough encounter against Watsonians

This Saturday, Hawick travel to Myreside to face Watsonians, as the Borders outfit hope to build on their narrow 14-12 win at home over Glasgow Hawks last weekend (kick-off 3pm).

Last weekend’s intense encounter saw Hawick record their fifth consecutive win this season, and the Green machine have enjoyed their recent return to form after suffering a disappointing start to the season.

Hawick will also be bolstered by the inclusion of Edinburgh Rugby player, John Hardie, who joins the back-row.

Hawick Head Coach, George Graham, has acknowledged the tough challenge ahead, as Watsonians have been clinical in execution and sharp on the attack over recent weeks.

Graham said: “We are playing with a higher degree of confidence and trust of late ensuring victory in our last four league outings, however, we are under no illusions to the difficulty of the task against an ‘in form’ Watsonians side.

“We want to lift our intensity and physicality to new heights this weekend to ensure we give ourselves any chance of success.

Both teams are expecting a large following of supporters so should make for a great atmosphere and an afternoon of exciting rugby.”

Watsonians claimed a comfortable bonus-point victory last weekend against Edinburgh rivals, Heriot’s, and are currently sitting fourth in the table.

The men from Myreside are now looking to extend a bit of breathing space in the league table as they aim to secure a play-off place.

Rory Steele will feature in the starting line-up for what will be his 100th match for Watsonians, while Ewan Miller is on the bench after several impressive performances in the second XV team.

Watsonians’ Head Coach, Steve Lawrie, said: “It was a good result last weekend and the players showed excellent heart to put away a strong Heriots team in the end.

On reflection, our set piece and some of our accuracy in attack need to be improved and we have had a focus on these areas at training this week".

“Heart and accuracy are two things we will require this weekend against a strong Hawick team.

“They are a team that launch well off their set piece and have demonstrated an impressive robustness in defence of late.

“With a full lunch and plenty of Watsonian and Hawick legends attending, we are hoping for a healthy turnout to watch what is a crucial match for both teams.”

Elsewhere, Ayr will go head-to-head against west coast rivals, Marr, at Millbrae.

The BT Premiership has fallen victim to the bad weather conditions this weekend, as three games have been postponed – Melrose v Stirling County, Boroughmuir v Heriot’s, Glasgow Hawks v Currie Chieftains.

 

Watsonians v Hawick, Myreside, 3pm

Watsonians: Andrew Chalmers; Rory Steele, Michael Allen, DJ Innes, Jason Harries; Rory Hutton, Ali Harris; Nick Fraser, Ross Graham, Nathan Borel, Euan Dods, Craig Borthwick CAPTAIN, James Miller, Gregor Nelson, Michael Fedo

Replacements: Darren Miller, Finn Hobbis, Ruairidh Wilson, Ewan Miller, Willie Thomson

Hawick: Ali Weir; Ross Combe, Keith Davies, Dom Buckley, Gary Munro; Lee Armstrong, Greig Cotterill; Shawn Muir, Matty Carryer, Nicki Little, Dalton Redpath, Craig Hamilton, Guy Graham, John Hardie, Bruce McNeil CAPTAIN

Replacements: Fraser Renwick, Matt Landels, Stuart Graham, Ross Gibson, Calum McLelland

 

BT Premiership – Saturday 19 January

Ayr v Marr, Fullarton Park, 3pm

Watsonians v Hawick, Myreside, 3pm