FOSROC Super6 Round 1: Preview
After 517 days the FOSROC Super6 kicks-off again this weekend with three action-packed matches, two broadcast live and available world-wide.
Sunday 1 August
This afternoon [Sunday 1 August] Watsonians Rugby make the trip through to the west coast to face Ayrshire Bulls at Millbrae, kick-off 1.30pm - Live on FreeSports.
Ayrshire Bulls are welcoming 500 spectators who are either members or sponsors of the club.
This afternoon's match officials are Finlay Brown (referee), Graeme Ormiston (AR1) and Ruairidh Campbell (AR2).
Whilst this match is being played in the middle of summer, this fixture in the first season of FOSROC Super6 was played at the end of December - the complete opposite season.
In December 2019 it was the Bulls who edged the victory 19-13 to the capital side.
This afternoon's match marks the first game in charge for Ayrshire Bulls Head Coach Pat MacArthur.
On team selection MacArthur said: “After hard fought pre-season games there is a lot of competition for places across the team. Everyone is eager to play which made our selection meetings challenging. We feel the team we selected will best suit the game we want to play against Watsonians.
"It's brilliant to be back not only at Millbrae, but playing rugby in front of a crowd.
"It is a great opportunity this weekend to open the season against what will be a very strong Watsonians team. After a long period of no rugby and a tough pre season the boys will be keen to show the crowd and sponsors what it means to play for Ayrshire Bulls”.
Ayrshire Bulls: 15. Matt Davidson, 14. Robert Beattie, 13. Tom Williams, 12. Tom Jordan, 11. Robbie Nairn, 10. Matthew Minogue, 9. Jordan Lenac; 1. George Thornton, 2. Rhodri Tanner, 3. Michael Scott, 4. Tom Everard, 5. Edward Bloodworth, 6. Ryan Sweeney, 7. Yaree Fantini, 8. Blair MacPherson (captain)
Replacements: 16. Alex McGuire, 17. Ruairidh Sayce, 18. Calvin Henderson, 19. Ewan Bulger, 20. Gavin Wilson, 21. Harry Warr, 22. Christian Townsend, 23. Aaron Tait
When Watsonians hosted Bulls at Myreside last season, they made amends for their loss when they first met, as the Myreside outfit won convincingly 27-10.
On team selection Watsonians Rugby Head Coach Fergus Pringle said: “All the players have put in a lot of effort in the lead up to the season, and we have strong competition for places across the squad. In total, 10 new players are in the match day squad and will make their debut for the club, which is very exciting.
“It’s a bit surreal that we are actually kicking off the FOSROC Super6 this weekend after going 16 months without any competitive rugby. There is a real excitement and buzz to get going.
"Ayr are always a tough test and not only have they got a quality squad, they have also put together a very good coaching team. We’re looking forward to the challenge and we know there will be a big step up from pre-season games to the real thing.”
Watsonians Rugby: 15. Jamie Forbes, 14. Lomond Macpherson, 13. Lewis Berg, 12. Dominic Coetzer, 11. Harvey Elms, 10. Lee Millar (captain), 9. Reiss Cullen; 1. Harrison Courtney, 2. Cal Davies, 3. Angus Williams, 4. Kwagga Van Niekerk, 5. Michael Badenhorst, 6. Karl Main, 7, Harry Fisher, 8, Sam Daly.
Replacements: 16. Ross Graham, 17. Matias Sonzogni Argiro, 18. Steven Longwell, 19. Kieran Watt, 20. Luis Ball, 21. Campbell Wilson, 22. Murray Scott, 23. Scott King.
Saturday 31 July
This afternoon [Saturday 31 July] Southern Knights travel to Bridgehaugh to face Stirling County in a repeat of the second round of fixtures in the 2019/20 FOSROC Super6 season - kick-off 3pm. Highlights of this game will be available on the Scottish Rugby website and BBC Sport Scotland website.
Stirling County are welcoming spectators to Bridgehaugh this afternoon, the public should note that there is an event spectator capacity of 600.
This afternoon's match will be officiated by Ian Kenny (referee), David Sutherland (AR 1) and David Changleng (AR2).
In this fixture last time out it ended in a 24 all draw, Stirling County Head Coach Ben Cairns will be looking to get his squad's campaign off to a early winning start at home.
On team selection Cairns said: “Nine of the starting XV were involved in season one of the FOSCROC Super6 while six players make their debut – George Breese, JP Phelan, Byron Bowes, Marcus Holden, Steven Hamilton and Tom Roche.
"After 17 months away from competitive rugby action, the replacements will be just as important as the starters. Debuts lie in wait for Callum Cruickshank, Josh Van Vuuren and Archie Russell.
“Its great to finally be talking about league action once again and to be at home in our first competitive fixture at Bridgehaugh for more than 18 months.
"The Southern Knights look to have retained a core group of players from season one and I am sure this will allow them to hit the ground running. Saturday cannot come quick enough for the players and it's going to be about harnessing that excitement and using it in the right way if we are to get off to a good start.”
Stirling County: 15. Tom Roche, 14. Steven Hamilton, 13. Landon Hayes, 12. Grant Hughes, 11. Logan Trotter, 10. Marcus Holden, 9. Caleb Korteweg; 1. George Breese, 2. Reyner Kennedy (captain), 3. JP Phelan, 4. James Pow, 5. Byron Bowes, 6. George Arnott, 7. Connor Gordon, 8. Ali Mackie.
Replacements: 16. Angus Fraser, 17. Billy Dineen, 18. Murphy Walker, 19. Callum Cruickshank, 20. Josh Van Vuuren, 21. Kristian Kay, 22. Andrew Goudie, 23. Archie Russell
Rob Crystie's Southern Knights will look to secure their first win of the campaign early doors this year, in season one they got their first win away to Boroughmuir Bears in round four and went on to have a stronger second-half of the season.
On team selection Crystie said: “Selection for first games of the season are always very difficult with all the players working extremely hard throughout pre-season and over lockdown. It is clear that all of our squad will be utilised throughout this intense competition and all the players will play a huge part throughout.
“Everyone is raring to go and looking forward to the restart of rugby. All FOSROC Super6 clubs are extremely fortunate to be the first competition up and running in Scotland, after what has been a long 16 months. Hopefully we can hit the ground running, perform and entertain the supporters that come along to watch our games. Ben and his coaching team will have his squad well organised and fully focused as always and we are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead away to Stirling County.”
Southern Knights: 15. Joe Jenkins, 14. Andrew Mitchell, 13. Nyle Godsmark, 12. Craig Jackson (captain), 14. Patrick Anderson, 10. Jason Baggott, 9. Cameron Jones; 1. Grant Sheills, 2. Fraser Renwick, 3. Euan McLaren, 4. James Head, 5. Daniel Suddon, 6. Dalton Redpath, 7. Allan Ferrie, 8. Iain Moody
Replacements: 16. Russell Anderson, 17. Shaun Gunn, 18. Calum Crookshanks, 19. Angus Runciman, 20. Harry Borthwick, 21. Murdo McAndrew, 22. Keiran Clark, 23. Iain Sim
Friday 30 July
Tonight [Friday 30 July] Boroughmuir Bears host Heriot's Rugby in the opening game of the 2021 FOSROC Super6. The Edinburgh city derby will be broadcast live on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport Scotland website and Scottish Rugby's website
Boroughmuir Bears are welcoming spectators but the public should note that the event is now sold out for this evening, if you do not have a digital ticket please do not attend as you will not be admitted into the ground.
The match will be refereed by Keith Allen with Dunx McClement and Michael Todd as his assistants. In this fixture last time out Heriot's Rugby won comfortably at home with the final score 53-10.
Graham Shiel's Boroughmuir men will be looking to get off to a strong start as they won only one of their 10 games in the inaugural season of FOSROC Super6 in 2019/20.
On his selection for the first game of the season Shiel said: “It is great to have had so many selection decisions for the first game of the season. The players have been working hard to get into as good shape as possible physically and trying to cover as much ground as possible on developing our overall game.
“We have a good blend of youth and experience throughout the squad and Friday presents a fantastic opportunity for those players to express themselves and enjoy playing in a competitive environment again.”
Boroughmuir Bears: 15.Tom Brown, 14. Callum Ramm, 13. Ronan Kerr, 12. Robbie McCallum, 11. Jordan Edmunds, 10. Tom Pittman, 9. Kaleem Barreto; 1. Ross Dunbar, 2, Craig McKenzie, 3. Dan Winning (co-captain), 4. Ewan Stewart, 5. Jack Fisher, 6. Craig Keddie (co-captain), 7. Scott McGinley, 8. Rory Drummond.
Replacements: 16. Cameron MacMillian, 17. George Cave, 18. AP McWilliam, 19. Euan Ferrie, 20. Trystan Andrews, 21. Rhys Tait, 22. Kyle McGhie, 23. Glen Faulds
Heriot's Rugby Head Coach Andrew Kelly has waited 16 months for his first game in charge of the Goldenacre outfit. He will be looking to pick up from where Phil Smith left of with this squad from last year, as 70% of the players have returned from season one.
Heriot's won seven of their 10 games in the inaugural FOSROC Super6 season. They will be looking to continue that form coming into this second campaign.
Heriot's Rugby Head Coach Andrew Kelly said: "This is the first selection of our campaign, the starting 15 have a job to do in getting us off to a great start. We believe this season will be a squad effort and we have a great bench to come on and make a huge impact on the game.
"This is the first competitive league game for 18 months so we need to harness the excitement and energy the players will have. Both teams have named strong squads and we are looking forward to getting back on the pitch. It's going to be an intense contest."
Heriot's Rugby: 15. Ross Jones, 14. James Couper, 13. Rory McMichael, 12. Robert Kay, 11. Callum Young, 10. Bruce Houston, 9. Alex Ball; 1. Andrew Nimmo, 2. Cameron Fenton, 3. Josh Scott, 4. Ruairidh Leishman, 5. Callum Marshall, 6. Iain Wilson (captain), 7. Jack McClean, 8. Jack Mann.
Replacements: 26. Michael Liness, 19. Chris Keen, 18. Struan Cessford, 20. Ronan Seydak, 22. Fraser Hastie, 17. Jason Hill, 21. Lloyd Wheeldon, 23. Stuart Edwards