EUAN MUIRHEAD of Boroughmuir Bears impressed at full-back on his first start at the level, He looked like a real prospect playing for Scotland Under-18s a year ago but didn’t quite kick-on at Glasgow Hawks last season in the same way as Andrew McLean did, but seems to have found his mojo now. Scott Watson of the Future XV is unlucky to miss out.
It was a weekend for wingers with nine of the 12 starters all scoring tries, and three of them – Callum Barrett of Southern Knights, Ross McKnight of Stirling Wolves and Freddie Owsley of Watsonians (all wearing No 11) – grabbing doubles. Owsley gets the nod on this occasion with Mikey Heron, who took his try well for Stirling Wolves against the Bulls, at No 14.
Former Scotland Rugby league international Hamish Bentley, who arrived at the Greenyards during the summer from France, looks a rapier at outside-centre in the mould of his coach (who knows a thing or two about rugby league/rugby union transitions), gets the nod at outside-centre ahead of George Pringle of Watsonians, while Ayrshire Bulls’ Andy Stirrat was man-of-the-match against Stirling Wolves at inside-centre.
It was a tight call between George Paul of Boroughmuir Bears, Jason Baggott of Watsonians (both official players-of-the-match) and Ross Thompson of Ayrshire Bulls, with Paul taking it by a nose.
Kyle McGhie impressed for Stirling Wolves, but Euan McAra revelled in the extra responsibility he was entrusted with in an inexperienced Future XV, having been loaned to the league’s new boys as emergency cover by Heriot’s, with an honourable mention also going to a Belgian international from the Borders, Ryan Godsmark, for the positive impact he made as a first half substitute for Southern Knights.
Into the pack, Andrew Nimmo won some important penalties for the Bulls as they squeezed past Stirling Wolves at Bridgehaugh, hat-trick hero Arthur Allen of Boroughmuir Bears is a shoo-in at hooker and his team-mate Martin McGinley completes the front-row as the a key cog in a powerful pack effort which provided the basis of a comprehensive Meggetland win.
Kawgga van Niekerk of Watsonians joins Gala-reared teenager Fraser Wilson, who will play for Hawick in the Premiership next season and was on loan to the Future XV at the weekend, in the second-row.
The rugged Ryan Sweeney of Ayrshire Bulls is at blindside flanker, Campbell Wilson‘s two-tries in an all-action display for Watsionians earns him the open-side slot, and Harry Borthwick carried well at No 8 for the Knights to suggest that he is getting back to something close to his best following an injury-disrupted spell.
15. Euan Muirhead (Boroughmuir Bears)
14. Mikey Heron (Stirling Wolves)
13. Hamish Bentley (Southern Knights)
12. Andy Stirrat (Ayrshire Bulls)
11. Freddie Owsley (Watsonians)
10. George Paul (Boroughmuir Bears)
9. Euan McAra (Future XV)
1. Andrew Nimmo (Ayrshire Bulls)
2. Arthur Allen (Boroughmuir Bears)
3. Martin McGinley (Boroughmuir Bears)
4. Kwagga van Niekerk (Watsonians)
5. Fraser Wilson (Future XV)
6. Ryan Sweeney (Ayrshire Bulls)
7. Campbell Wilson (Watsonians)
8. Harry Borthwick (Southern Knights)