TENNENT'S PREM PREVIEW | Stirling welcomes Hawks to Bridgehaugh

Stirling County will host Glasgow Hawks this Saturday in Round 9 of the Tennant’s Premiership at Bridgehaugh Park (Kick off 3pm). 

Both sides will be looking to bounce back after suffering defeats during last weekend’s round of fixtures. Hawks, sitting in 8thposition, will be looking to gain ground on their opponents who are 5 points better off in 7thspot.

Despite Hawks loss last weekend to current league leaders, Ayr, Head Coach Fin Gillies was in confident mood going into Saturday’s fixture.

Gillies said, ‘We barred up really well last week against a very physical Ayr side and defended out of our skin for large periods of the game.

If we can apply the same effort and physicality that we show when we are defending to when we are attacking, we will be a far more threatening team with the ball.’

Stirling Coach Eddie Pollock is also anticipating a strong performance from his side.

Pollock said, ‘We are looking for a big reaction from the squad at home this week. Glasgow Hawks have been improving steadily as the season progresses and will be a real challenge to us in what is always a very competitive fixture.’

Team News

There will be a raft of changes for the home side from the team that featured against Hawick last weekend with Murphy Walker, Reyner Kennedy, George Arnott, Ewan Magarvie, Peter Jerceivich and John Brogan all returning to the starting XV.  

Adam Nicol, Ross Bundy and Bruce Sorbie will all be available on the bench.

The Hawks provide Jack Gemmell with his first start for the club in the back row as they hand a number of players the opportunity to taste Premiership rugby, as Fraser Hastie moves to number 8 for the first time this season.

There will also be a shuffle in the backline with only Ross Thompson and Cammy Symes starting in the same positions as they did against Ayr.

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 www.scottishrugby.org/fixtures-results

The Squads

Stirling County RFC: Craig Robertson; Andrew McLean, Ewan Magarvie, Grant Hughes; John Brogan, Andrew Goudie, Peter Jerecivich, Remy Chies, Reyner Kennedy, Murphy Walker, James Pow, Cameron Henderson, Hamilton Burr, George Arnott, Ali Mackie. 

Replacements: Matt Emmison, Adam Nicol, Ross Bundy, Harry Henderson, Bruce Sorbie.

Glasgow Hawks RFC: Robert Bettie; Glen Faulds, Mark New, Cammy Symes; James Couper, Ross Thompson, Kaleem Barreto,  Gary Strain, Paul Cairncross, Lewis Skinner, Andrew Kirkland, Charlie Thompson, Jack Gemmell, Struan Dow, Fraser Hastie. 

Replacements Paul Henderson, Dan York, Callum Duke, Paddy Boyer, Jack Macready.