CLUB XV | Skipper Thomson calls for accuracy against Ireland

Scotland Club XV captain Fraser Thomson has urged his team to rectify their mistakes ahead of tonight’s second clash against Ireland at Netherdale (kick-off 7.30pm).

The match will decide the winners of the Dalriada Cup and the game is still all to play for after the Irish Club XV won the first leg 26-23 a fortnight ago, with a simple points aggregate determining the winner.

The men in dark blue lifted the silverware on the last two occasions, 2015 at Netherdale and 2016 at Temple Hill, and will be looking to bounce back for the win on home territory.

The tenacious and speedy Melrose full-back has been on fine form this season in the BT Premiership and is currently the top try scorer for the tournament with 14 tries in total.

The 28-year-old is Scotland Club XV’s most experienced player and has pulled on the thistle jersey 13 times since his debut in 2010 against France. 


Fraser Thomson Q&A:

How have the team prepared for what is anticipated to be another physical test against Ireland?

“We reviewed the game on Monday night at training and overall there were some positives to take from the first game. I think moving forward to Friday night we will be looking to rectify some of the mistakes we made.

“Ireland were a strong side and they put us under pressure, but there are a lot of things we can do to improve our game and to help alleviate the pressure.

“If we get things right on Friday night at Galashiels, then I think we can overturn the three-point deficit.”


Many of your Club XV teammates are your opponents in the BT Premiership, how does the dynamic change when you train and play together?

“We all know each other well from the rugby community, and my teammates in Club XV are usually my opponents in the BT Premiership each weekend. When we meet at training for Club XV, however, we all have a really good time and we get on well with each other.

“There was a great camaraderie when we went over to Ireland and hopefully that will show on the pitch this week.”

“As one of the more experienced players in the squad, there are always things you can learn from the younger players.

“Club XV also helps to push the younger guys, and it is a great platform for stepping up to the next level.”


What are your memories from your first Scotland Club XV game?

“It was a pretty wet cold night back in 2010 at Netherdale against France and we just managed to scrape the win. I was pretty young at the time and I was looking to develop my rugby.

“Even back then, the camaraderie amongst the squad was great and we all wanted to do our best on the pitch.

“It’s a great opportunity to play for your country and we all take that responsibility very seriously. Every time I’ve played for Scotland Club XV it has been just as special.”


Have the Scotland Club XV games became tougher over the years?

“I’d say so, all the games are really tough as we are playing against the best club players from different countries.

“It’s also a very tough squad to be selected for as the competition is high in the BT Premiership.”

“Over the past eight years the BT Premiership standard has increased and I think that showed in our game against Ireland a fortnight ago.”


How does it feel to be named captain for the Scotland Club XV side?

“It’s great, and I was lucky enough to be asked by Rob before the first game.

“This match will mean a lot to me, as I live in the Borders and my family will be supporting me at the game.

“It’s a great honour to represent your country and hopefully we will have a good home support at Netherdale”


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