Hutton hits the heights for Hawick

HAWICK coach Phil Leck has backed Rory Hutton to have a big season for the Mansfield Park side, writes Kenny Paterson.

The 25-year-old stand-off was in outstanding form in the Greens’ dramatic draw at Stewart’s Melville last weekend, scoring two solo tries.

And Leck is hoping for the same again from the former Edinburgh player in Hawick’s National League clash with rivals Selkirk this Saturday.

He told TheSouthern: “Rory is massively on form and is very enthusiastic about what he is doing.

“I have been speaking to him a lot over the summer and we have been working on having the ball in hand. It is a big ask against Selkirk, who have also started the season well. They should have beaten Kelso by more and we cannot allow them to play, otherwise they will run away with the game.”

Leck expects to have a fully-fit squad, while Selkirk are likely to be missing Scott Hendrie, although Darren Clapperton returns.

Asked about the threat of Hutton, Selkirk coach Ewan Robbie said: “I think we have to concentrate on ourselves.

“Watching the DVD of the Kelso game there were eight or nine times when we should have scored.

“If we apply ourselves and find the killer touch, we will do well.”

Also in the National League, Jed-Forest travel to Watsonians and Kelso head west to take on Hamilton.

Gala hope to have Chris Auld back in their squad for their Premiership trip to Edinburgh Accies.

The Scotland under-20s centre suffered a serious knee injury in January while on international duty and has spent the last seven months fighting back to fitness.

Coach George Graham said: “It has been a long road back for Chris, but we hope to see him involved in the squad on Saturday.”

Graham believes both Luke Pettie (back) and Bryce Turner (toe) will be fit for the Raeburn Place match, but centre Chris Borthwick is out with a rib injury.

Despite last season’s success, and the fact Gala scored a comfortable win in the same fixture in October last year, Graham says his side will not take Accies lightly.

He added: “I don’t think there will be any complacency from us. Just because we had a good season last year does not mean we will get carried away.

“I have a lot of respect from Accies coach Simon Cross. He is trying to get Accies playing a more expansive game and has strengthened his side.”

Also in the Premiership, reigning champions Melrose tackle Currie at the Greenyards, aiming to follow up last week’s great win at an improved Stirling County.