Mark Cairns of Currie will captain an inexperienced Scotland Club International XV when they play the Ireland Club XV for the Dalriada Cup on Friday night at Millbrae (7.30pm). Lee Millar & Dean Kelbrick are the only other players in the starting XV to have started previously for the Club XV, with Gary Holborn and Cammy Ferguson bringing some previous squad experience to the bench.
The team features a young front row who have all appeared in professional rugby this year – Robin Hislop & Alex Allan, both EDP players with Edinburgh, and Fraser Brown of Heriots who has covered hooker for Glasgow in recent weeks due to injuries. The Gala half-backs Lee Millar & George Graham have been the most consistent club pairing this season and will be looking to release get the ball wide into the hands of a speedy, if slight, back 3 of Craig Gossman, Jamie Forbes and Craig Robertson.
There are representatives from 9 of the 10 Premier 1 clubs in the team, Dundee HSFP, somewhat surprisingly, being the only team not represented. The line up seems to have been chosen to play a fast expansive game so spectators should be entertained at the game which has free entry.
In contrast to the Scotland team, Ireland look to have considerable experience up front with Simon Crawford and Frank Cogan familiar faces at this level. The result might well depend on whether the lighter Scottish pack can win enough ball, and whether Lee Millar can direct the game fast & wide enough to tire the Irish forwards out.
Scotland Club XV to face Ireland: 15 Jamie Forbes (Currie), 14 Craig Gossman (Ayr), 13 Max Learmonth (Heriot’s), 12 Dean Kelbrick (Ayr), 11 Craig Robertson (Gala), 10 Lee Millar (Gala), 9 George Graham (Gala); 1 Robin Hislop (Boroughmuir), 2 Fraser Brown (Heriot’s), 3 Alex Allan (Edinburgh Accies), 4 Murray Douglas (Aberdeen Grammar), 5 Ross Miller (Melrose), 6 Mark Cairns (captain) (Currie), 7 Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Accies), 8 Andrew Nagle (Melrose)
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce (Heriot’s), 17 Gary Holborn (Melrose), 18 Luke Pettie (Gala), 19 Jason Hill (Heriot’s), 20 Gary Graham (Gala), 21 Peter Jericevich (Ayr), 22 Stuart Edwards (Stirling County), 23 Cameron Ferguson (Heriot’s)
The match will take place on Friday (8 March) at Millbrae in Ayr. Kick-off will be at 7.30pm and the match is free to attend.