FROM GLOBETROTTING TO GETTING TO GRIPS WITH GALA

Selkirk's Fraser Harkness, Dubai and South Africa rugby.
Selkirk's Fraser Harkness, Dubai and South Africa rugby.

JUST days after returning from a three-week international sevens stint in New Zealand and America, Selkirk skipper Fraser Harkness in ready to pull on and play for his club jersey.

Last weekend the 26-year-old full-back helped Graham Shiel’s squad to their second Bowl victory and move Scotland into 10th place in the standings with back-to-back wins over Japan, Wales and Canada on day two of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Las Vegas.

Tomorrow Selkirk take on Gala for what could arguably be their biggest game of the season and the local plasterer is hoping he can join the mix and skim some points from their derby rivals.

Speaking to the Wee Paper yesterday, Fraser said: “I go back to training tonight. The team have been doing well without me but hopefully I’ll get a game tomorrow.

“It’s a huge game for us. We are desperate to keep our place in the top flight, but Gala are looking for promotion and it won’t be an easy game.

“Like I said though, Selkirk have been playing well over the last few weeks and I’m hopeful we can get a win.”

Selkirk president Donald Macleod also believes his team can do the business tomorrow.

He told us: “Saturday’s match is, in many ways, a cup final.

“Three weeks ago our boys were robbed at Myreside by a conversion coming back off the upright and a hotly-disputed try.

“We have subsequently enjoyed two away wins, against Aberdeen Grammar and Kelso. Now we need to give our home supporters something to cheer about – the bigger the crowd the better.

“Gala haven’t enjoyed their recent visits to Philiphaugh and the players are determined to keep it that way.”

Next Wednesday Harkness will join Shiel’s sevens squad once more as they begin training for the next two rounds, which take place in Hong Kong and Australia at the end of March.

“I’ve managed to lose some weight and I certainly feel a lot fitter,” he added. “We have played well so far and ultimately we are looking to make the final stages of the cup competitions so that we can pick up more points and improve our overall world standing.”

Last weekend, after battling hard in a tough day one pool containing the fourth and sixth-placed sides in the series, first losing narrowly to Australia (12-7) and then Fiji (31-14), the Scots confirmed their place as the top- seeded Bowl qualifier with a 21-19 success over Canada, a side they would meet and overcome once more in the day two final.

Harkness played his part in Scotland’s success by scoring and converting a try against Japan as well as converting a touchdown by former Selkirk team-mate Alex Dunbar.