Rugby: Pro players called in as Heriot’s go all out for a top-four spot

Steve Lawrie
Steve Lawrie
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Comeback man Steve Lawrie is looking forward to lining up for Heriot’s at Dundee High in the Scottish Rugby Premiership tomorrow a week after turning out for the Taysiders in a British and Irish Cup win.

The 28-year-old ‘A’ international hooker has not managed an outing for Edinburgh Rugby throughout 2012 and he has been helping coach Heriot’s during rehabilitation from knee damage.

The chance, however, to start his comeback on loan in a 
25-23 B&I victory over Carmarthen Quins was too good to miss and Dundee coach Ian Rankin is relaxed about Lawrie’s instant about-turn.

“Steve signed our official 
secrets act before taking his leave last weekend,” joked Rankin. before quickly putting emphasis on the importance of giving professionals game-time. “Steve is totally professional and won’t be taking any details of our codes etc back to 

“I’ve known Steve through the Scottish clubs’ international set-up and appreciate that he has had a rough time with 
injury. Likewise, Duncan Weir and Ruairdh Jackson have turned out for us recently and we respect the fact these lads come out of the professional game and get themselves up to do their very best. Steve did a second-half shift from off our bench and showed his strength in the scrum and accuracy with line-out throwing, so I have no doubt he is on the way back.

“That said, his presence in the Heriot’s front row tomorrow against players he turned out with last week will add some spice to the scrummaging.

“It is not as if Steve is the only Heriot’s player with Dundee connections either as Struan Cessford, Cammy Ferguson and Colin Goudie have all turned out for us in the past.”

Both teams have seized the chance to field professionals in a match which sees Dundee trying to move up from second bottom while sixth-placed Heriot’s chase a top-four spot that would access the next B&I Cup.

Scotland cap Rory Lamont will line-up for Dundee alongside Glasgow colleague Taylor Paris, while Heriot’s have also listed Edinburgh trio Perry Parker, Steve Lawrie and Mike Penn. Heriot’s coach Phil Smith said: “Some huge decisions have had to be made but our policy to support the pro teams in Scotland means all three start.

Hardest hit by this is Kevin Bryce, the stand-out hooker in the Premiership this season. Stevie Lawrie takes his place and Perry Parker moves into the middle row at the expense of Ken Mackenzie, with Mike Penn replacing Michael Patterson on the wing.

“We also have Rory Carmichael returning and he picks up the No. 10 jersey from an unlucky OJ Brown, with Graham Wilson moving back in to his natural scrum half position.

“Sam Hidalgo Clyne reverts to full back as he did against Melrose.”

Boroughmuir, who trail second bottom Dundee by five points with a game in hand, have Edinburgh trio Sep Visser, Harry Leonard and Robin 
Hislop starting at Currie having lost home clashes with that 
opposition in league and cup this season.

A week after starting for 
Edinburgh in the Heineken European Cup against Racing Metro scrum half Chris Leck is on the bench for Currie, while fellow pro Gregor Hunter starts at stand off.

There are four pros in the Edinburgh Accies squad bound for Melrose and coach Simon Cross said: “As is our policy we start any professional players made available. Dimitri Basilaia makes his deb0ut and we 
welcome back Alex Black, Alex Allan and Lewis Niven.”