Rugby: Crombie points the way for Boroughmuir

Boroughmuir rugby captain Malcolm Clapperton today hailed hooker Sean Crombie for promptly returning to the club scene at the end of a pro career with Edinburgh.

Crombie lines up tomorrow against Hawick at Meggetland in the Premiership fresh from starring in an opening-day win at Selkirk.

"It is not easy to leave the professional scene and then step back into club rugby but we could'nt have asked any more so far from Sean - or Ally Warnock and Ally Davidson, our other ex-pros, for that matter.

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"Sean sets an example in the way he continues to take his rugby very professionally and hopefully this will continue to rub off on others," said 31-year-old Clapperton, who made three Magner's League appearances for Edinburgh up until 2004.

Not surprisingly after their 34-12 win at Selkirk there is every likelihood of an unchanged 'Muir line-up although Edinburgh scrum half Ross Samson is bracketed alongside Sam Johnson for a starting spot.

Here the decision could be key because, as Clapperton noted, Hawick are fielding a former 'Muir favourite at scrum half who has moved back to native parts.

"One player we definitely have to watch out for is Greg Cottrell and, along with Rory Hutton, he forms an experienced half back partnership" warned Clapperton.

"However, I am particularly delighted with the way Stevie Wilson has blended into our midfield after arriving from Edinburgh Accies and I enjoy playing alongside someone who is particularly good at getting through tackles and off-loading passes."

Hawick are unchanged up front after going down to Ayr last week but the return from holiday of Hutton will sound alarm bells remembering how he starred in his only Edinburgh appearance, against Cardiff, last season.

Champions Currie have pledged to bounce back from an opening-day defeat at Melrose with a side showing several changes when they entertain Dundee High.

Behind the scrum Chris Kinloch has moved to Loughborough and Andy MacMahon has a thigh strain which means Matt Scott moving to centre where he played in the under-20 world cup and Andy Binikos starting. Ex-North Harbour (New Zealand) provincial star Hayden Abercrombie moves from full back to wing to accomodate fit-again Johnny Smith.

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Mark Cairns returns and will start on the bench alongside former Stew-Mel prop Ross Merrilees and Allan Whittingham who scored two tries against London Scottish.

Coach Ally Donaldson, who singled out hooker Fergus Scott after a promising debut, said: "We were good in some areas last week but some basics let us down. Dundee will be feeling the same about their defeat. We are glad to get back to Malleny Park in attempting to improve on last week's performance."

For Dundee coach Ian Rankin the prospect of a backlash is very real. "Currie will have been hurt by defeat and we are expecting a very intense encounter," he said. "The opening games showed that defences were all fragile, with the high scores posted not necessarily down to the quality of the attack, but this will have been addressed with some hard work at training all week. The result of this game will hinge on the team that best adapts to the new emphasis at the breakdown."

Another team keen to bounce back from defeat are Watsonians, who entertain Glasgow Hawks with a much-changed squad after defeat at Heriot's. Drafted in are Ross Aitken, Dougie Orr, Garret Walsh, Ally Rowe, Niall Dennis, Donald Seed and Jonny Pelter. For Heriot's there is a boost away to Stirling County as the host club's Scotland under-20 second row Grant Gilchrist has been called into Edinburgh's squad to face London Irish tonight and is not sure to play tomorrow.

Added to the Heriot's squad who beat 'Sonians are OJ Brown, Finlay Gillies, JP Ward and Struan Dewar.

In Division Two Edinburgh Accies and Stewart's Melville are at home to, respectively, Biggar and Aberdeen Grammar FPs while the Division Three campaign gets underway with Musselburgh, now coached by ex-Jed threequarter Brian Hughes, at home to a Hamilton side who beat them in the final of the recent Lasswade 15-a-side tournament.

• CURRIE and Edinburgh Accies (BATS) under-18s will play curtain raisers tomorrow against Haddington and Boroughmuir (both kick offs 12.30pm).

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