The RBS National League resumes this afternoon with second placed Glasgow Hawks looking to keep up the pressure on leaders Watsonians.
After a three-week break for RBS Regional Cup action, Hawks travel to Kelso while Watsonians are at home to Stewart’s Melville.
Both matches are subject to early-morning pitch inspections but, if they make the trip to Poynder Park, Hawks’ joint head coach Jamie Dempsey is looking forward to it. Currently they are five points behind ’Sonians and Dempsey said: “The cup has been good over the last few weeks, but the league is very important to us this season and we are keen to get back to it.
“The first 11 weeks were really exciting and I expect things to continue that way in the coming weeks and months. Every team can beat each other on their day and we will be taking nobody for granted, starting with Kelso.”
With experienced backs Mike Adamson and Jono Wright on the bench, it shows Hawks’ strength in depth behind the scrum. Normally a scrum-half, Haddon MacPherson starts on the wing, while the back row of Stephen Leckey, Ally Maxwell and Ross Miller looks strong. Dempsey continued: “There are plenty of twists and turns to come and we just have to make sure we are there or thereabouts as the season keeps going.”
At Myreside, Watsonians aim for their 14th win in a row in all competitions and are boosted by the return of Rory Steele to their line-up. The full-back is their top try scorer so far this term.
Captain Mark Rennie also comes back in after a holiday, while Argentinian prop Claudio Gambio may debut off the bench.
Stewart’s Melville travel across Edinburgh without skipper Craig Marshall while stand-off Seb Trotter will be playing against his former club. Third placed Hawick are nine points behind Watsonians, but had found some real league form before the cup break. Today they face a tricky trip to Hillhead/Jordanhill with the hosts in fourth place.
When the teams met earlier in the campaign Hawick came out on top 31-14.
Elsewhere this afternoon the bottom two meet in a big match at the revamped Hartreemill with Biggar hosting bottom side Jed-Forest.
And Selkirk are on the road to Laigh Bent to face a Hamilton side who are full of confidence after last week’s big cup win at West of Scotland.