TENNENT’S PREM | Friday night lights for Watsonians v Accies

Watsonians host the first fixture of this weekend's Tennent’s Premiership Round 8 under Friday night lights against Edinburgh Accies at Myreside (kick-off 7.45pm).

The clubs have brought the derby a day early to create a capital feast of rugby, with Edinburgh's Heineken Champions Cup clash with three-time winners Toulon kicking off at BT Murrayfield the following day at 3.15pm.

Watsonians Head Coach - and former Edinburgh hooker - Steve Lawrie is hopeful 'the Edinburgh public will get down and enjoy the occasion.'

Currently sitting in fifth place on the table, Watsonians come into the game on the back of a 34-17 loss to Currie Chieftains last weekend and will be looking to get their season back on track against this season's Premiership newcomers Accies.

Watsonians wins so far this season have come against Stirling County, Boroughmuir, Hawick and Glasgow Hawks meaning that, on paper, this home fixture looks like a good opportunity to do just that against AN as-yet winless Stockbridge side.

Edinburgh Accies have, however, shown progress in recent weeks, coming close against Boroughmuir (13-15) and Hawks (18-20).

Team selection

Watsonians' back-row James Miller and centre Paul Cunningham start in place of injured duo Connor Boyle and Rory Hutton. Charlie McKill and Rory Steele return to the squad.

Watsonians Head Coach, Steve Lawrie, said: “Currie were good for their win last weekend, however we were extremely disappointed in our performance and this has given us cause for healthy reflection.

"Derek [O'Riordan, Accies' Head Coach ] and his team have shown improvement week on week and we need to ensure we play in the correct way in order to get ourselves back on track."

Accies continue to build depth with the additions of Rory Simpson, Martin McGinley, Nick Stephen and Robbie Kent to the squad this week. Richard Mill returns and Vinny Hart moves to full-back in place of Edinburgh's Tom Brown who is not available this week.

Derek O'Riordan, Edinburgh Accies Head Coach, said: “Friday night lights and an opportunity to have a craic have us pretty excited.

“Irrespective of our losses there is progress and I believe this progress will continue into Watsonians. With a six-day turnaround we have had a chance to taper and focus on our detail and decision making.

"We accept that we will be under pressure in games and I talk every week about how we manage that pressure more effectively.

“Friday will be no different but I believe we are learning our lesson, I believe we are turning the corner and I believe a big performance is coming.”

Elsewhere in the Tennent’s Premiership (Saturday, 3pm kick-offs), Boroughmuir welcome Heriot’s to Meggetland and Stirling Country travel south to Mansfield Park to face Hawick.

In the west, Glasgow Hawks will be trying to put an end to Ayr’s winning steak when the two sides meet at Balgray. Third-placed Currie Chieftains are at home against second-placed Melrose in what should be a close-fought affair.

Clubs from across Tennent’s National Leagues 1, 2 and 3 will also continue their season on Saturday. For a full list of fixtures, visit scottishrugby.org/fixtures-results.

WATSONIANS: Josh Rowland; Angus Guthrie, Paul Cunningham, DJ Innes, Rufus McLean; Lee Millar, Murray Scott; Greg Jackson, Ross Graham, Jack Stanley; Jamie Hodgson, Craig Borthwick; Gregor Nelson, James Miller, Michael Fedo. Substitutes: Fraser Renwick, Finn Hobbis, Charlie McKill, Ewan Fox, Rory Steele.

EDINBURGH ACCIES: Vincent Hart; Cameron Gray, George Spencer, William Stephen, Robbie Chalmers; Richard Mill, Robbie Davis; James Pearse, Nick Hall, Cole Imrie; Ronan Seydak, Robert Lovett; Michael Badenhorst, Jamie Sole, Lawrie Seydak. Substitutes: Rory Simpson, Martin McGinley, Nick Stephen, Sam Johnson, Robbie Kent.