Melrose's South of Scotland snub disappoints Craig Chalmers

Melrose legend Craig Chalmers has hit out at his former club's decision not to release players for next month's revival of the South of Scotland team.

Craig Chalmers expressed his disappointment. Picture: Robert Perry
Craig Chalmers expressed his disappointment. Picture: Robert Perry

The Borders club select will play their Caledonia counterparts at Jed-Forest’s Riverside Park on Tuesday 8 November but Melrose have refused to release any of their players for the game, citing a heavy fixture schedule.

Grand Slam hero Chalmers, who played in the successful Melrose side of the late 80s and 1990s, said on Facebook: “Very disappointed not to see the Melrose boys involved. I know times have changed, but it was always an honour and privilege to pull on the South jersey.”

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Melrose president Trevor Jackson said in a statement: “Melrose have decided that due to the heavy load placed on the players and the timing of this fixture that it cannot support this particular match.

“The Border League is important to Melrose, and with the match against Jed-Forest at Riverside Park on 11 November following the game against Glasgow Hawks on 5 November, the turnaround is too tight to do the South justice. Melrose are playing our other Border League match on the 19th against Kelso at the Greenyards, so that all fixtures can be fulfilled in this historic competition.”

The South will be captained by Gala stand-off Gregor Hunter and he said: “I am incredibly proud. I wasn’t expecting to be chosen as captain but it’s something that is steeped in history and I can’t wait to get out there at Riverside Park. My dad played for the South against the All Blacks and he’s told me about the massive history involved with The South.”