Three young players in particular are looking forward to today’s BT Premiership action for differing reasons.
Fresh from his first top-team try, Gala’s Rex Jeffrey is looking to help the Maroons stay out on top, while fellow 20-year-old Ruairidh Young is hoping to assist Edinburgh Accies get their first win.
And 21-year-old Robbie Fergusson, of Ayr, is set to make his first appearance since March after treatment for cancer.
Jeffrey has only come into the Gala first XV squad this season having played in the seconds last year.
And the stand-off-centre has impressed in his cameo appearances off the bench and, seven days ago, scored the crucial winning try against Edinburgh Accies.
He has been named amongst the replacements for the leaders again for today’s home match with Boroughmuir and he said: “Injuries to a number of players earlier in the season gave me my chance with the first team squad and I have just tried to work hard and do as well as I can whenever I come off the bench.
“Last week, we knew that Accies would give us a tough match despite them being bottom of the league and so it proved. I was just pleased to be in the right place at the right time for my try and it was a great moment.
“It was also important because it kept us at the top and now we are looking forward to a home match today. We always get a superb backing at Netherdale and we all love playing there.
“Young players are always given a chance at Gala and there are a lot of guys now in the first team squad who have come up through the ranks together, while having the experienced core of the squad around us really helps.”
Edinburgh Accies’ full-back Young earned 12 Scotland under-20 caps in 2013 and earlier this year, and showed his undoubted talent with a hat-trick of tries in the loss to Gala.
In the summer of 2013, disaster struck for Young when he was with the under-20s at the Junior World Championships in France.
In the opening match against Argentina he broke his leg, but recovered to play in this year’s RBS Six Nations and World Championships in New Zealand.
Now his main focus is helping Accies out of their current struggles and today they travel to second bottom Glasgow Hawks.
As featured in last Saturday’s Scotsman, Fergusson was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma towards the end of last season. He was all set to get a run out for their second XV last weekend, but the match at Bouroughmuir was postponed.
Fergusson still travelled to Edinburgh and took part in the warm-up with the first XV before their match against ‘Muir – and now he has been named on the bench for their home match with Currie this afternoon.
Should the former Scotland under-20 centre get the call from head coach Calum Forrester to come on during the match, he is sure to get a great reception from the Millbrae faithful. As well as these three matches, Melrose take on Heriot’s and Hawick welcome Stirling County to Mansfield Park.
At the Greenyards, the hosts will be looking for revenge after Heriot’s beat them there in the BT Charity Shield match back in August.
And, just down the road in Hawick, Scotland cap Ryan Wilson will make his return from injury for County, starting at No 8 against the Greens, who are looking to build on last week’s win over Melrose.