The draft has taken place to align Scotland’s professional players with clubs in the RBS Premiership for the new league campaign which kicks-off later this month.
All ten Premiership clubs participated in the draft with some 82 professional players from Edinburgh Rugby, Glasgow Warriors and Scotland 7s allocated amongst them.
First year professionals were not part of the pick as they remain with the club from which they joined the pro-ranks. Elite Development players were also outwith the draft. However, the new foreign signings for Edinburgh and Glasgow are in the draft and may be wondering just what a Currie is, having previously equated it with some sort of spicy food. Many may also be unfamiliar with the delights of Aberdeen on a November evening. Many may in their heart of hearts also be hoping not to have a massive involvement with their feeder clubs as they challenge for starting slots in the pro-teams.
As in previous years, the draft was done on a geographic basis with clubs in Glasgow and Caledonia aligned to Glasgow Warriors and clubs from Edinburgh and the Borders bracketed to Edinburgh Rugby. Five Scotland sevens players, originally with clubs or schools in the Edinburgh Rugby catchment were among the Edinburgh draft, with another three in the Glasgow draft.
Edinburgh Accies, the lowest placed club in the Edinburgh Rugby catchment in last season’s P1, had first pick of the Edinburgh Rugby players; while Aberdeen Grammar, lowest finishers among the Warriors clubs in last season’s P1, had first pick of the Glasgow Warriors players.
It’s interesting to see who gets picked early, possibly as indicators of weaker areas in the Premiership squads for the coming season. Making sensible decisions, the clubs have left most of the top line players to last as they will have little opportunity to make use of them, unless they are on the injury comeback trail. So you may yet see one or both Lamonts playing for Dundee HSFP! Boroughmuir have gone mostly for backs, and also backs they have a good chance of using (apart from Visser). Stirling County on the other hand have gone for 4 second rows in their draft selection.
George Clark, Premier Division representative on the Scottish Rugby Council, hailed the draft as an “exciting time” for the new-look league.
“It’s great to have the professional players aligned to the RBS Premiership. It’s a new competition and we look forward to involving the pro players when they are available.
“I’d encourage supporters to come along. They’ll get the chance to see some emerging talent and emerging professionals before they become regulars at Murrayfield and Scotstoun. It’s a really exciting time for the club game.”
Edinburgh Accies – Alex Black, Lewis Niven, Greig Tonks, Dimitri Basalaia, David Denton, Greig Laidlaw and Ross Rennie
Heriot’s – Perry Parker, Michael Penn, Steven Lawrie, Michael Maltman, Andy Titterell, Struan Dewar and Geoff Cross
Boroughmuir – Harry Leonard, Sep Visser, Ben Cairns, Ben Atiga, W P Nel, Tim Visser and Russell Weir
Currie – John Houston, Steven Turnbull, Isak Van Der Westhuizen, Andrew Turnbull, Chris Leck, Matt Scott and Richie Rees
Gala – James King, Stuart McInally, Tom Brown, Mark Robertson, Allan Jacobsen, Nick De Luca and Ross Ford
Melrose – Alun Walker, Roddy Grant, Lee Jones, Sean Cox, Netani Talei and John Yapp
Aberdeen Grammar Rugby – Scott Wight, Finlay Gillies, Angus Macdonald, Nikola Matawalu, DTH Van Der Merwe, Moray Low, Chris Cusiter, Stuart Hogg, Duncan Weir, James Fleming and Peter Murchie
Ayr – James Eddie, Gordon Reid, Ed Kalman, Ruaridh Jackson, Viliami Ma’afu, Jon Welsh, Pat MacArthur, Ryan Grant, Tommy Seymour and Colin Shaw
Stirling County – Grant Gilchrist, Tim Swinson, Byron McGuigan, Mike Cusack, Troy Nathan, Alex Dunbar, Tom Ryder, Al Kellock, Robert Harley and Dougie Hall
Dundee HSFP – Peter Horne, Taylor Paris, Ryan Wilson, Sean Lamont, Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Chris Fusaro, Henry Pyrgos, John Barclay and Colin Gregor