Sitting on the sidelines is not something former Hawick and Gala prop Rory Sutherland does best, but that’s where he will be for Friday night’s glamour tie at the Greenyards.
For the 22-year-old is still recovering from a groin injury and will miss the match which sees his current side, Edinburgh Rugby, take on Romania.
“I’m gutted to be missing the game, and indeed the start of the season,” said Sutherland, who was included as 24th man in the 2015 RBS 6 Nations’ squad.
“I will be there to support the team though – I wouldn’t miss it. The atmosphere down in the Borders is tremendous and I know the team love playing down there.”
Edinburgh will play Romania (6.30pm) in the first of two warm-up games for the city side while their international guests, who currently sit 17th in the world rankings, travel to the Borders ahead of their Rugby World Cup campaign.
“We hope fans will come to the game to enjoy the special atmosphere the club ground will offer,” added Sutherland.
Keeping Sutherland company on the sidelines will be fellow Borderer Stevie Scott who, as Edinburgh forwards coach, will be keeping a close eye on his charges: “Romania are a physical side, but we are looking forward to the challenge they will bring,” he said.
A week later, Friday, August 28, the city side will play Ulster at Goldenacre, home of Heriots RC (6.30pm) before heading into the competitive season with a Guinness PRO12 opener against Leinster on Friday September 4.
“These matches will provide an apt test for the squad ahead of what will be an extremely tough league campaign,” added Scott.
Sutherland joined players and supporters who lined up as catwalk kings and queens at BT Murrayfield as his club launched its new kit on Wednesday night.
“It was fun, but boy, I can’t wait to get back on that pitch again. I’m back in training now so hopefully it won’t be too long,” he said.
On Saturday Melrose travel to Peebles while Selkirk host Kelso for the final two pre-season Booker Border League matches.