Former Selkirk centre Alex Dunbar recorded one of the fastest monitored speeds of a Scotland internationalist during the RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with Italy on Saturday.
Scotland won the match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, with Dunbar contributing two tries to the 21-22 scoreline, much to the delight of supporters watching the game in the packed Philiphaugh clubrooms where a special Italian lunch was being held.
The 23-year-old former Selkirk player was recorded running at 33.8km per hour in the build-up to crossing the line for his first touchdown.
Dunbar, who now turns out for Glasgow Warriors, said: “I’ve been doing some speed work with Huw Jones (strength and conditioning coach) at Glasgow, but I have really no idea how I did it.”
Though some Scotland players have come close, the speed was the fastest recorded in three years as picked up by his GPS unit, a small gauge which each player wears under his shirt to measure data used to analyse performance.
The scenes of joy which greeted Scotland’s last-gasp win in Rome were probably at their most boisterous back in the clubrooms, given that the architect of the Italians’ eventual downfall once wore the navy blue, red and white shirt of Selkirk.
As well as scoring two tries, the outside centre was once again immense in defence.
Speaking to journalists after the game, he said: “We have set the standard with this win. Now it’s about finding that consistency in other areas.
“We have a week off now, and hopefully we can come back strongly against France.”
Back at home this week, Selkirk players have been turning their attentions to the spring sevens circuit now that the 15-a-side season is drawing to a close.
Last year the Souters won two trophies in the Kings of the Sevens series – the Langholm and Selkirk cups – and the players are keener than ever to repeat, if not better, this feat when the circuit gets under way at the start of April.
“We started training a couple of weeks ago,” said sevens coach Graham Marshall, “and I’m very pleased and encouraged by the attitude shown by all the players.
“The boys did everyone proud after making a slow start last year, so this time around I’m keen to ensure we hit the ground running to maximise the potential we have in the squad.
“It’s always tough playing 10 tournaments in the space of seven weeks after such a long 15-a-side season, but I know the players always relish the challenge, and hopefully we can give our supporters something to cheer about in the weeks ahead.”
Selkirk RFC’s own tournament will take place on Saturday, May 10.
Tomorrow (Saturday), the 1st XV welcome Hillhead Jordanhill to Philiphaugh and are looking to finish the campaign in as high a position as possible.