Borders players retained for Scottish Club XVs and U20s

The full complement of Borders players has been retained by Scotland’s respective head coaches for the second round of matches in the Club XV and U20s Six Nations competitions.

Both games take place tomorrow (Friday) with all the local players making a return to their squads after the opening games last weekend.

In Donnybrook, Ireland, Scotland’s Club XV take on Ireland Club XV in the concluding leg of the Dalriada Cup contest, beginning at 5.45pm.

Ireland won the first game 17-39 at Netherdale last Friday and probably have to be considered favourites, as it’s the aggregate score over the two games that counts.

But Scotland have some fine players – not least the Borders contingent from three Tennent’s Premiership clubs. Andrew Mitchell of Hawick is promoted from the bench to the starting XV, while rejoining the squad are Callum Young and Gregor Law (both Jed-Forest), Aaron McColm and Ewan MacDougall (both Selkirk), plus Shawn Muir (Hawick) and benched teammate Matt Carryer.

McColm was one of the players on target with a conversion attempt and head coach Scott Wight told the Scottish Rugby website: “The squad played well last week – as a result we’ve made very few changes to the starting line-up. It’s a strong and determined squad that we’ve backed to travel to Ireland for the second leg of the Dalriada Cup.

“Although we had some good opportunities and periods of momentum last Friday, we’ll look to retain the ball for longer periods and be more clinical with our possession to execute the game plan we want to play.”

Elsewhere, three Southern Knights players who lined up for Scotland in their U20 Six Nations opener against Ireland last weekend are also back in the reckoning.

Rory Darge captained the side, while Jacob Henry and Mak Wilson were also involved, as the young Scots took a great deal of positive experiences from an unlucky 38-26 defeat.

They face England tomorrw (Friday) at Myreside, kicking off at 7.30pm. Head coach Sean Lineen said: “We’ve got some good attackers in this team and they’re pretty skilful but we’ve got to look after the ball a bit better than we did last weekend.

“England will be all about power, a lot of their individuals play Premiership rugby, they’re all very good players.

“We’ve got to make sure we strike the right balance in attack and defence. We’ve come away having played pretty well in Ireland and we’ll look to take those positives into Friday night.

“We want to make it as tough as possible. You can’t stand off them and we’ve got to make it very difficult but, first and foremost, we need every man wearing that thistle to front up to the challenge they’ll face.

“We’re expecting a big crowd at Myreside and we’ll make sure we use them as our sixteenth man and we’re ready to give it our best shot.”