Glasgow Hawks’ head coach Finlay Gillies has rung the changes to his starting XV after last week’s cup loss to Ayr as the sides clash again in the BT Premiership semi-final this afternoon.
Gillies and his troops head to Millbrae once more having been outplayed there seven days ago, Ayr winning 28-10 to progress to the BT Cup final. Ayr also defeated Hawks twice during the regular league season so the visitors are aware that they are the underdogs.
However, they will be eager to make amends for last week and give it one last push and Gillies has made eight changes to the XV. Into the backline have come Sean Yacoubian, Patrick Kelly and George Horne with Cammy Fenton, Scott Cummings, Matt Smith, Matt Fagerson and Bruce Flockhart coming into the pack.
“After a very disappointing performance last week we have spent a lot of time looking at the video and have pinpointed a few areas to really focus on getting right,” Gillies stated.
“This is last chance saloon for us at Hawks and we certainly don’t want to come off second best again.”
Ayr head coach Calum Forrester has made just one change to his starting XV from last time out, Rob McAlpine recovering from illness to take the place of Craig Stevenson in the second row.
“We learned last season that the results from previous matches mean nothing at this stage in the season,” he explained.
“The players’ attitude has been great at training this week and our focus has turned fully to this match.”
In the other semi-final encounter Melrose, who topped the table in the regular season, take on Currie. Key man Iain Moody is back for Melrose so he slots into the No 8 position with Ruaridh Knott moving forward to the second row.
The rest of the side is the same as the one that defeated Stirling County seven days ago in the BT Cup.
Currie travel to The Greenyards as outsiders but, on paper, their squad looks as strong as it has been all season. The back three of Ben Robbins, Ruaraidh Smith and Harvey Elms have pace to burn if they get enough ball while skipper and No 8 Ross Weston will lead the way from the back of the scrum.
Head coach Ben Cairns, pictured, said: “We travel with confidence having been in good form of late and feel our preparations have gone well.”
Both matches are at 3pm.