Currie kid Lawrie ready to make his mark at hooker

WHIZZ kid hooker Steven Lawrie, 17, today looked forward to becoming the youngest player to turn out in the BT Scotland Premiership this season by lining up for Currie against Kirkcaldy at Beveridge Park tomorrow - and insisted that age needn’t prohibit senior rugby progress.

In the past, clubs have shied away from developing youngsters like Lawrie, who is included in a 19-strong Currie squad, especially in intensely physical areas such as the front row.

But, in hoping to add to experience already gained from off the bench in two BT Cellnet Scottish Cup ties, Lawrie said: "If it is decided to give me a run against Kirkcaldy I’ll be ready.

"Besides helping Currie climb the table I want to boost chances of fulfilling a goal to play for Scotland Under-18s.

"A pro contract with Edinburgh would be attractive but there are sufficient targets between now and the end of the season to occupy me," added Lawrie, who paid tribute to assistance received both from club coach Bruce Macnaughton and ex-Currie and Scotland hooker Graham Ellis, a PE teacher at his old school, Stewart’s/Melville.

"What would be good about starting out against Kirkcaldy is that league positions (the Fifers are bottom) suggest that we might be able to establish a bit of control as the game goes on and I could start repaying some of the help I’ve had."

Meanwhile, leaders Boroughmuir entertain Gala at Meggetland with coach Iain Paxton keen that his charges dedicate their bid for another scalp to a stricken stalwart, Nathan Pyke.

Paxton said: "Nathan will be missing with a damaged thigh which bled internally and was twice admitted to hospital this week. It would be good to win for him against Gala in view of the great service he has given overall this season."

Heriot’s tyro Jon White goes into action at Glasgow Hawks with a ringing endorsement from a starmaker and former PE teacher who claims he can go all the way to the top.

Ex-Goldenacre coach John Foster taught White - outstanding against Melrose last week - at Dollar Academy until this season and said: "If John can cope with a relative lack of height (he stands around 5ft 10in) as he goes up the ladder then he can be the type of player that has seen Neil Back prove outstanding for England and the Lions."

In Division Two, Watsonians head for Selkirk while Murrayfield Wanderers are unchanged for the visit of Ayr.

MERCHISTON Castle defeated Dollar Academy 15-0 at Colinton yesterday to ensure Capital domination of this season’s Bell Lawrie White Scottish Schools Rugby Cup.

In Wednesday’s semi-finals holders Merchiston face Stewart’s/Melville at Myreside while Edinburgh Academy take on Watson’s at Meggetland. Both ties kick off at 7pm.