Southern Knights up for cup against Newcastle Falcons again to raise money for Borders rugby hero Doddie Weir's charity

Two of Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir’s old clubs are to come up against each tomorrow in aid of his motor neurone disease charity.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 28th October 2021, 3:49 pm
Doddie Weir celebrating winning the English Allied Dunbar Premiership with Newcastle Falcons in London in 1998 (Photo: Tom Shaw/Allsport/Getty Images/Hulton Archive)
Doddie Weir celebrating winning the English Allied Dunbar Premiership with Newcastle Falcons in London in 1998 (Photo: Tom Shaw/Allsport/Getty Images/Hulton Archive)

Fosroc Super6 finalist Southern Knights – both an offshoot of Melrose and a successor to short-lived professional side the Border Reivers – will host English Gallagher Premiership outfit Newcastle Falcons at the Greenyards tomorrow night to vie for Doddie’s Club Trophy.

Kick-off will be at 7.30pm, and tickets are priced at £15 for adults and £10 concessions, with entry being free for under-18s.

Proceeds will go to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

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Weir, of Blainslie, spent most of his club career as a lock at Melrose and Newcastle, playing for the former from 1989 to 1995 and the latter from 1995 to 2002.

The 51-year-old, capped 61 times for Scotland between 1990 and 200, returned to his home region in 2002, seeing out his playing career with three seasons at the Galashiels-based Border Reivers.

Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “We have always been keen to help Doddie’s charity with its great work funding research into motor neurone disease and would urge as many people as possible to come along and support this fixture.

“We played Southern Knights at home for the cup a couple of years ago and were always keen on doing so again. With having a bye week in the Premiership, this seemed like the perfect time to do it, and it should be a good game for an outstanding cause.”

Falcons won the trophy the last time the two sides contested it, at Newcastle’s Kingston Park in December 2019, and Weir was there to hand it over that inaugural accolade.

A season’s best crowd of 5,484 turned out to watch the game, won 57-10 by the hosts, with the Borderers’ tries being scored by Struan Hutchison and Billy Wara.

Falcons’ try-scorers were Charlie Maddison with three, Trevor Davison, Nemani Nagusa, Chidera Obonna, Bailey Ransom with two and Josh Bashamm with Brett Connon adding five conversions and Will Haydon-Wood one.

The Knights’ starting line-up for that game, besides Hutchison, was Ciaran Whyte, Patrick Anderson, Joseph Jenkins, Gavin Wood, Jacob Henry, Jason Baggott, Sean Gunn, Finn Scott, Ewan McQuillan, Alan Gregory, James Head, Andrew Nagle, Ruaridh Knott and captain Rory Darge.

Their replacements were Fraser Renwick, Grant Shiells, Conor Young, Calum Crookshanks, Angus Runciman, Tom Robertson, Russell Anderson, Bruce Colvine, Liam Herdman, Iain Simm and Michael Mvulase, plus Wara.

Russell Anderson will captain the Knights tomorrow, with Henry Pyrgos as vice-captain.

The rest of their starting XV will be Jack Black, Iain Sim, Vilikesa Wara, Chris Dean, Freddie Owsley, Charlie Savala, Ben Muncaster, Connor Boyle, Harry Borthwick, Angus Runciman, Pierce Phillips, Dan Gamble and Shaun Gunn.