Melrose host Ayr in Scottish Cup Semi-Final
The winners of the ties will secure their place at Scottish Rugby’s domestic showcase event, Silver Saturday, which takes place on Saturday 27April at BT Murrayfield.
Melrose will be looking to inflict revenge on their visitors from Millbrae after Ayr defeated their hosts with a penalty try in the final seconds of the match during last weekend’s Tennent’s Premiership semi-final.
Head Coach of Melrose, Rob Chrystie, is expecting ‘another bruising contest’ between the sides. He said: “They [Ayr] showed great fighting spirit to get over the line last weekend in an extremely tight game. We have focussed on ourselves this week to ensure we are as well prepared as possible for what is sure to be another cracker.”
The home side have received a boost as Struan Hutchison returns to the starting team this along with South African Michael Muelace-Julyan and Donald Crawford.
They will have an unchanged pack that put in a strong showing last weekend and will have Peter Eccles at their disposal to make an impact off the bench.
Ayr Head Coach Pete Murchie, will be eyeing up another final apparence after last weekend’s win, he added, “We have worked hard on the areas of our game that we can improve going into this weekend, and we know that we will have to be at our best against a Melrose team that will throw everything at us.”
Ayr will have two Warriors in their line-up after Paddy Kelly and Robbie Nairn were released by the Glasgow club while Ollie Smith is rested, handing Jamie Boya a place on the bench.
Melrose: Donald Crawford; Iain Sim, Patrick Anderson, Gavin Wood, Michael Muelace-Julyan; Craig Jackson, Struan Hutchison, Grant Shiels; Russell Anderson, Conor Young, Calum Crookshanks James Head, Ruaridh Knott, Grant Runciman (Captain), Ian Moody.
Replacements: Richard Ferguson, Ben Mclean, Thomas Brown, Harri Morris, Peter Eccles, Andrew Jardine, Thomas Klien.
Ayr: Grant Anderson; Robbie Nairn, Paddy Kelly, Danny McCluskey, Kyle Rowe; Frazier Climo, Harry Warr, Ruaridh Sayce, Robbie Smith, Steven Longwell, David Corbenici, Lars Morrice, Blair Macpherson, Tommy Spinks, Pete McCallum (Captain).
Replacements: Alex McGuire, Euan Mclaren, Alfie North, Cam Reece Jack Preston, James Pinkerton, Jamie Bova.