BT Premiership countdown part nine: Team-by-team

Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

THE long summer is over. The BT Premiership returns on Saturday afternoon. There has been plenty of movement during the recess (transfer window), but who has got the balance of their squad just right?

Here are the runners and riders –

 

AYR

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Head Coach: Calum Forrester; Forwards Coach: Glenn Tippett; Forwards Coach: Pat MacArthur; Player Coach-Backs: Frazier Climo.

Captain: Pete McCallum

Players In – Robin Hislop (Doncaster); Euan McLaren (Dollar Academy); Jonathan Agnew (Australia – previously Hillhead Jordanhill and Glasgow Hawks); Michael Badenhorst (Dumfries); Tommy Spinks (Glasgow Hawks); George Stokes (Toulon); Robbie Nairn (Harlequins Academy); Scot Lyle (Bury St Edmunds).

Players Out – Ross Curle (Stirling County), Richard Dalgliesh (Marr); Archie Russell (Cambridge University); Craig Stevenson (Australia).                           

Pro Draft – Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors); Rory Hughes (Glasgow Warriors); Brandon Thomson (Glasgow Warriors); Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors); Robbie Ferguson (Scotland 7s); Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors); Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors); Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors); Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors).

Key Man: Blair Macpherson (Back-Row)

Young Gun: Paddy Dewhirst (Stand-Off)

Last Year: 2nd during regular season then won tense play-off Grand Final against 1st placed Melrose.

Prediction: Will be there in the final reckoning but knock-out rugby is a cruel mistress.

BOROUGHMUIR

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Head Coach: Peter Wright; Attack Coach: Jonny Else; Line-Out Coach: Paul Larter; Scrum Coach: Neill Wood.

Captains: Chris Laidlaw; Vice Captain: Craig Keddie

Players In – Johnny Matthews (Sedgley); Alan nethery (Dalkeith); Sean Corrigall (Bedarrides); Fin Field (Hawick); Dan Marek (Currie); Archie Erskine (Newcastle Falcons Academy); Ciaran Whyte (Full-Back/Stand-Off)’ Michael Brown (Clontarf).

Players Out – Alex Cox (Retired); Robert Cairns (Retired); Sam Johnson (Edinburgh Accies); Dougie Steele (Marr).

Pro Draft – Lewis Carmichael (Edinburgh Rugby); Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh Rugby); Nathan Fowles (Edinburgh Rugby); Robbie Fruean (Edinburgh Rugby); Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby); Sean Kennedy (Edinburgh Rugby); Mark Bennett (Edinburgh Rugby); Duncan Weir (Edinburgh Rugby), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby), Nick McLennan (Scotland 7s), WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby).

Key Man: Jordan Edmunds (Wing)

Young Gun: Callum Atkinson (Second-Row)

Last Year: 7th

Prediction: Stronger than last year but so are their rivals.

CURRIE CHIEFTAINS

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Head Coach: Ben Cairns; Contact Coach: Mark Cairns; Specialist Skills S&C and Scrum Coach: Andy Barnett; Line-Out Coach: Fergus Pringle.

Co-Captain: Robbie Nelson and Fergus Scott.

Players In – Kris Burney (Falkirk); Duncan Ferguson (Stellenbosch University); Callum MacKintosh (Hawick); Vincent Wright (RC Gooi, Holland – previously Warringah); Glen Faulds (Falkirk).

Players Out – Ross Weston (Retired); Richard Snedden (Retired); Alastair Hamilton (Retired); Dan Marek (Boroughmuir).

Pro Draft – Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Richard Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Leonardo Sarto (Glasgow Warriors), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors)

Key Man: Harvey Elms (Full-Back)

Young Gun: Luke Crosbie (Flanker)

Last Season: 4th during regular season, then beaten 42-15 in play-off semi-final away to Melrose.

Prediction: ‘You can’t win anything with kids’, said Alan Hansen – but what does he know?

GLASGOW HAWKS

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Head Coach: Finlay Gillies; Assistant Coaches: Andrew Douglas, Andrew Hill, Peter Horne, Andrew McIndoe; Head of Elite Development: Jimmy Sinclair; Head of Sports Science: Victoria Penpraze

Captain: Brendan McGroarty; Vice-Captain: Stephen Leckey.

Players In – Jake Eaglesham (Falkirk); Liam Brimms (Falkirk); Scott Peffers (Hawick Harleguins); Kyle Rowe (Falkirk); Lewis Skinner (Falkirk); George Blackwell (Fylde); Calum Harrison (Greenock); Andy Dymock (Dundee); Hamish Livingston (Dundee); Callum Kerr (GHK); Chris Guthrie (Aberdeen Grammar); Dan York (St Aloysious); Euan Brown (Canterbury); Glen Scott (GHA); Jack Gemmell (Kilmarnock); Kyle Henderson (Glasgow University); Sam Yawayawa (Leicester Tigers); Theo Nwosu-Hope (Glasgow University); Ewan Rintoul (St Columbus); Ross Thomson (Hillhead-Jordanhill); Ross Thompson (Stewarts-Melville).

Players Out – Tommy Spinks (Ayr); Kerr Gossman (Stirling County) Andrew Hill (Retired); James Gormley (Retired); Sam Bulloch (Dubai); Hagen Schulte (Germany); Leigh Tyley (Greenock); Andrew Redmayne (Dundee); Ross Miller (Glasgow Hawks); Lucho Venerio (GHA); SeaN Yacoubian (USA); Adam Lowry (Glasgow Accies); Chris Woods (Glasgow Accies.

Pro Draft – George Horne (Glasgow Warriors); Patrick Kelly (Glasgow Warriors);  Kiran McDonald (Glasgow Warriors); Matt Smith (Glasgow Warriors); Robert Harley (Glasgow Warriors); Brian Alainu’uese (Glasgow Warriors); Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors); Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors); Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors).

Key Man: Paddy Boyer (Scrum-Half)

Young Gun: George Blackwell (Flanker)

Last Season: 3rd, then lost 38-22 away to Ayr in play-off semi-final.

Prediction: A struggle to emulate last year’s early season form with so much upheaval.

HERIOT’S

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Head Coach: Phil Smith; Assistant Coaches: Bruce Douglas and Jamie Parker.

Captain: Rory Carmichael; Vice-captains: Michael Liness.

Players In – Jack Turley (Fylde) Adam Sinclair (Stirling County); Ross Jones (Stirling County) Craig Robertson (Gala); Dom Martin (Howe of Fife); Callum Bell (The Glasgow Academy); Ian Kay (George Heriots School); Nick Stingle (Kelso); Charlie Jupp (Wellington School).

Players Out – Russell Nimmo (London); Harry Boisseau (London) Gavin Parker (New Zealand).

Pro Draft – Murray McCallum (Edinburgh Rugby), Hugh Fraser (Edinburgh Rugby), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), Viliama Mata (Edinburgh Rugby), Duhan Van Der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby), Jason Tovey (Edinburgh Rugby), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby), James Fleming (Scotland 7s), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby).

Key Man: Struan Cessford (Prop)

Young Gun: Martin Hughes (Second-Row/Blindside Flanker)

Last Season: 5th

Prediction: Back in the hunt for a play-off place.

MELROSE

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Head Coach: Robert Chrystie; Forwards Coach: Stuart Johnson; Defece Coach: Richard Taylor; Skills and Counter Attack Coach: Fraser Thomson; Strength and Conditioning Coach: Bill Noble.

Captain: Grant Runciman; Vice-captain: Craig Jackson and Nick Beavon.

Players In – Grant Shiells (London Scottish); Ben Chalmers (London Scottish) Andrew Jardine (Biggar); Rory Darge (North Berwick).

Players Out – Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors); Cammy McKay (Jed-Forrest).

Pro-Draft – Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Ally Miller (Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Galbraith (Edinburgh Rugby), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Anton Bresler (Edinburgh Rugby), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby), James Johnstone (Scotland 7s), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Scott Riddell (Scotland 7s).

Key Man: Ruairidh Knott (Second-Row/Back-Row)

Young Gun: Andrew Jardine (Centre)

Last Year: 1st during regular season then lost to the Grand Final at home to Ayr.

Prediction: Pain of falling at the final hurdle last year will be a crucial spur to a better outcome this year.

STIRLING COUNTY

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Backs and Attack Coach: Peter Jericevich; Defence Coach: Graeme Young; Scrum Coach: Eddie Pollock; Specialist Breakdown Coahch: Chris Fusaro; Lineout Coach: Grant Gilchrist; Forwards Coach: Gavin Blackburn.

Captain: Jonny Hope; Vice-captains: Reyner Kennedy and Ruairidh Leishman.

Players In – Peter Jericevich (GHA); Ross Curle (Ayr); Kerr Gossman (Glasgow Hawks), Gary Holborn (Perthshire); James Pow (Kirkcaldy); Graham Gilliland (Falkirk); Joseph Beech (Old Boys University, Wellington, New Zealand).

Players Out – Alex Taylor (RGC 1404, Wales); Ross Jones (Heriot’s); Adam Sinclair (Heriot’s); Mark Hunter (Hillfoots); Fergus Bradbury (break from rugby).

Pro Draft – Lewis Wynne (Glasgow Warriors), Callum Hunter-Hill (Edinburgh Rugby), Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors), Callum Gibbins (Glasgow Warriors), Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)

Key Man: Ross Curle (Centre)

Young Gun: Logan Trotter (Wing)

Last Season: 8th

Prediction: If the coaching structure clicks then serious play-off contenders.

WATSONIANS

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Head Coach: Stevie Lawrie; Backs and Attack Coach: Richard Snedden; Defence Coach and Analyst: Neil Cochrane.

Captain: Craig Borthwick; Vice-Captains: Rory Drummond and Michael Allen.  

Players In – Michael Allen (Edinburgh Rugby); Rory Hutton (Hawick); Willie Thomson (Orkney); Kyle White (Edinburgh Rugby); Finn Hobbis (Stewarts-Melville); Jamie Hodgson (Stewart’s-Melville); Michael Fedo (Unattached); Aiden Woodward (Upper Hutt Rams, Wellington, New Zealand); Nick Fraser (Gordon, Australia).

Players Out – Ewan Scott (Jed-Forrest); Reiss Cullen (Bristol RUgby); Sean Ruwers (Retired).

Pro Draft – Junior Rasolea (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Dean (Edinburgh Rugby), Glenn Bryce (Edinburgh Rugby), Jason Harries (Edinburgh Rugby), Neil Cochrane (Edinburgh Rugby), Darryl Marfo (Edinburgh Rugby), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby), Dougie Fife (Scotland 7s), Jamie Farndale (Scotland 7s), Jack Cuthbert (Scotland 7s).

Key Man: Rory Drummond (Number Eight)

Young Gun: Ewan Fox (Stand-Off)

Last Season: 6th

Prediction: There or thereabouts in the play-off battle.

  • Hawick and Marr are also in the league.
About David Barnes 2967 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.