Ross Curle may only be 26, but having been exposed to professional rugby in his teens he is one of Ayr’s more experienced campaigners.
And, as he and his team-mates prepare to head to Netherdale to take on Gala in the BT Premiership this afternoon, the centre is well aware of just how tough a place it can be to go and get a result.
Ayr travel to the Borders on the back of a good win against Melrose seven days ago, which left them second in the table.
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Gala are third, but after defeat to Heriot’s last week will certainly be fired up for this one.
Curle said: “Games against Gala are always hard and they pride themselves on putting in good performances at home. We know they will come out all guns blazing and really take the game to us, but we are pretty pleased with the start to the season we have had and last week we played well.
“Over the first few weeks we seemed to have something of an injury crisis, but many of the players are back fit now and there is real competition for places in our squad.”
Curle was one of those on the injury list after he broke his wrist on the opening day in the first meeting with Gala at Millbrae.
He missed five matches before returning against Currie on October 11 and he has been in the starting XV since.
When he was a teenager, Curle was given the opportunity to sign for Viadana in Italy and he now looks back on those three years with great affection.
“I wanted to grab the opportunity when I could and I ended up aged 19 playing Heineken Cup rugby and playing with and against top internationals. It was a great three years for me both on and off the pitch.
“It is the best time to go out and try something like that because when you are young you have no fear and I just tried to learn as much as I could from those around me.
“I am now in my sixth season at Ayr and I love playing for the club. I have also played alongside some great players and we are always striving to be up there challenging for honours.”
Since he arrived at Millbrae back in 2009/10 Curle has helped the club win the league title in 2012/13 and the Scottish Cup on three occasions.
With so many options in the backline at the club now he has been impressed by the way young half-backs David Armstrong and Danny McCluskey have stepped up to being first-team regulars this term.
“With Peter Jericevich leaving in the summer and Murray McConnell getting a Glasgow contract David has come in and done a cracking job at scrum-half, while Danny is learning all the time as a stand-off and they have formed a good partnership,” Curle explained.
Elsewhere this afternoon, leaders Heriot’s are on the road to Glasgow Hawks with everyone at the club pleased for captain Jack Turley, who was due to start for Edinburgh Rugby last night against Leinster.
Turley’s pro selection came off the back of a cracking showing for the Edinburgh Rugby A side against the Ontario Blues on Monday night. Another Heriot’s man, Jason Hill, also impressed in that one and will want to keep up his good form at Old Anniesland.
Fourth-placed Melrose are at Raeburn Place to take on a resurgent Edinburgh Accies side, while Hawick and Currie meet at Mansfield Park and Boroughmuir travel to Stirling County.
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