Current Scotland Under-20 cap Neil Irvine-Hess will be playing for Melrose in the RBS Premiership next season after the Borderers and Watsonians forged a link-up which they hope will benefit both clubs.
Melrose, the current RBS Premiership champions, and Watsonians, who narrowly missed out on a top two spot in the RBS National League in 2013-14, are to “dual register” a number of players meaning that they can turn out for both clubs.
Back-row Irvine-Hess, who is currently with the under-20s squad at the IRB Junior World Championships in New Zealand, played last season for Watsonians whilst an Edinburgh Rugby EDP after leaving George Watson’s College, but will be seen at the Greenyards next year.
A joint statement from the clubs said: “With Melrose being involved in the British & Irish Cup in 2014-15 and both clubs striving for domestic success, the link-up should give the most talented and ambitious young players a real opportunity to enhance their individual development by playing at the highest levels open to them.
“Both clubs believe this initiative is a positive move forward for Scottish rugby as we look to assist the very best young players moving through the club system on the road to becoming either professional players or highly accomplished club players.”