Best bib and tucker for Borders rugby stars

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THE club ties that bind were celebrated at the home of Scottish Rugby on Friday evening with the second annual Scottish Rugby Club Awards Dinner.

And a quartet of Borders rugby clubs came away with the final pieces of silverware of the season.

The President’s Suite at Murrayfield Stadium played host to the glittering event, hosted by SRU president, former Scotland captain and British Lions prop Ian McLauchlan and presented by former Scotland and British Lions scrum-half Andy Nicol.

Melrose topped off an incredible season by being named Club of the Season. Peebles, Birkmyre, Highland, Preston Lodge, Ayr and Lasswade were also in the running for the award.

The Greenyards club have already been crowned champions of Premier One, won the final of their own sevens tournament en route to lifting the Kings of the Sevens title and were crowned champions of the Border League during the last few weeks of the season.

Melrose RFC is an integral part of the town and the wider community, particularly through the reputation of its sevens tournament, amplified this year by the weather, the TV coverage, the crowd, and most of all, the result.

Melrose Ladies back row supremo Hannah Rorrison picked up Women’s Premier Two Player of the Season, while Jed-Forest’s Darren Gillespie and Hawick YM’s Lee Armstrong won the Player of the Season awards for Premier Two and National Two.

Last year, for the first time, trophy attention was focused completely on recognising and rewarding member clubs and the role they play in ensuring the game of rugby in Scotland goes from strength to strength. This second event was a great success and a true celebration of the camaraderie and commitment of the grassroots game.

McLauchlan said: “Players, coaches, officials and volunteers at all levels and in all parts of the country are the people who keep our game going, who encourage the next generation to pick up the ball and support those youngsters as they develop their skills along whichever rugby path they choose.

“We need their enthusiasm, their experience, their talent and their continued commitment to ensure that as many people as possible get as much pleasure out of this glorious game as we have all enjoyed.

“These awards mark the achievements of our clubs, their successes and recognised the individuals who have excelled throughout the season in both the men’s and the women’s game.”