Russell Nimmo back for Premiership battle

Heriot’s second-row Russell Nimmo expects a tough test, but is looking forward to heading to Netherdale this afternoon as the top two in the BT Premiership meet.

Russell Nimmo will be back in the Heriots fold today as they head to Netherdale. Picture: SNS

The Edinburgh side will arrive to take on Gala having leapfrogged the Maroons at the top of the table last weekend.

With third-placed Ayr also taking on fourth-placed Melrose at Millbrae today they promise to be two cracking fixtures as the top-flight campaign reaches its halfway point.

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Heriot’s got the season off to a slow start with a home loss to Glasgow Hawks, but since then they have won six of their last seven fixtures.

Seven days ago they put in possibly their best performance so far to see off in-form Ayr 25-7 at Goldenacre – and Nimmo hopes they can build on it today.

The 24-year-old said: “I missed the game last week due to work commitments, but having watched the video it was great to see some of the stuff the guys played.

“I am pleased to be back to start against Gala and although we know they will be in our faces and have good, strong forwards, our pack feels we can give our exciting backs a good platform to build on.”

When Heriot’s get going there is no doubt that they are one of the most exciting attacking teams to watch in Scotland, but often the quality of their pack goes unnoticed.

Nimmo, now in his third season at the club, captain Jack Turley and No 8 Jason Hill give them great solidity while in the front-row they have some good scrummagers and hooker Davy McGregor has impressed since coming into the side.

“As a pack we are used to playing together and we all enjoy working and learning from forwards coach Steve Lawrie,” Nimmo explained.

“We know that if we play well in the pack that our backs will make the most of their opportunities with the pace they have and the team is progressing quite well this season.”

Nimmo, who is likely to come into Club XV contention this season, comes back into the side for Edinburgh Rugby man Ben Toolis while Scotland Sevens flyer James Fleming is added to the bench.

Gala lost last week to Melrose and head coach George Graham said: “The game against Melrose was probably one of the dullest games we’ve played in because of the amount of errors and the amount of times we coughed up possession.

“If we are to get back on track this weekend against Heriot’s then we will have to up our game as they are an 80-minute team. We will have to be at our best to get that all-important win.”

At Millbrae, Ayr welcome a resurgent Melrose and the home side will have Scotland cap Jon Welsh starting at prop, with key man Rob McAlpine back from injury in the second-row.

Melrose travel on the back of wins against Heriot’s and Gala and their head coach John Dalziel said: “We are aware of the challenge we face and we are determined to build on the momentum gained over the last two weeks.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Accies’ in-form winger Sam Pecqueur admitted this week that he and his team-mates always knew their first win would come – and they are now keen to back it up away to Stirling County.

The 20-year-old prospect took his try tally to seven for 2014-15 with two in the victory over Hawick seven days ago to boost the bottom side.

Elsewhere, Glasgow Hawks take on Currie and Boroughmuir are away to Hawick.