More aces in the Selkirk pack following summer reshuffle

Stevie Hamilton, in possession here against Cartha QP, has departed Selkirk to join Currie Chieftains.
Stevie Hamilton, in possession here against Cartha QP, has departed Selkirk to join Currie Chieftains.

A top four finish is the target for Selkirk as a fresh rugby season looms into view, characterised by the newly-sponsored Tennent’s Leagues.

The Souters have added a sprinkling of forwards to their scrum and lined up a few pre-season fixtures, ahead of the main league kick-off on September 1.

The Philiphaugh side ended last season in fifth spot in League One, and manager Tom Ramage said he was looking for “a wee improvement” on that, if possible.

Prop forward Joe Anderson, from Tynedale, and middle row Andy MacKay, have joined the pack, while back row forward Sam Murdoch, a history teacher, is also on the club’s books.

Selkirk will also be turning to its South African connection in the hope of bringing in a couple of new players from the continent around the end of July, with the departure back home of Clinton Wagman, Siphamandla Dama and David Anderson.

Two other players have headed through the Philiphaugh exit to join Premiership clubs – Steven Hamilton has gone to Currie Chieftains, while Australian prop Nick Hall is with newly-promoted Edinburgh Accies.

Earlier this summer, it was confirmed that Ewan MacDougall would be the new team captain, assisted by Darren Clapperton and Luke Petty.

Selkirk are involved in the Peebles Sevens on August 4 and have a practice game lined up against Sandal, from Wakefield in Yorkshire.

They also have a Borders League game against Peebles on August 18 and are looking to arrange a match for August 25, the weekend before the new league campaign starts.

Selkirk are at home to Kirkcaldy that day and Ramage knew it would be a tough test. “They have obviously done well to get promoted – it’s a sticky league to come out of, the second league,” he said. “So we’ll take each game as it comes – Cartha QP came up last year and they have established themesleves in the league.

“We won’t be holding back – put it like that.”