THE Super 6 franchise playing out of Melrose will be called the Southern Knights, it has been confirmed. Rather than referencing the Glen Campbell country and western classic, this rebranding is in fact a nod towards a Sir Walter Scott ballad.
“Sir Walter Scott wrote a legend of King Arthur and his knights laying asleep by their horses in the hollow of the Eildon Hills, waiting to do battle once more. The Greenyards, laying at the foot of the Eildon Hills is where those legends will rise later this year,” explained the statement issued by the club yesterday.
“The Southern Knights are a true Borders team, befitting of Sir Walter Scott’s legend,” the statement continued. “While the home of the team will be in Melrose, at the foot of the Eildon Hills, the rugby talent and support will be drawn from other local clubs and towns too. The Southern Knights will play in a new kit specially designed to reflect this, made up of all the colours of the local Borders teams. Melrose Rugby looks forward to warmly welcoming new supporters of our new Borders Super 6 team – The Southern Knights.
It is a time of significant transition at Melrose. The name launch comes a few weeks after the pitch at The Greenyards was removed to install a state-of-the-art 4G surface, with the club keen for their iconic base to be developed into a sporting hub for the wider region.
“Since December 2018 the rugby management team and the Board of Directors have worked to recruit a strong squad of players from the existing Melrose squad and from the whole of the Scottish Borders, to help rejuvenate rugby in the area,” said the statement. “It was imperative to Chairman Gordon Brown that the team name reflected this broader Borders outlook.”
The 35-player Southern Knights squad for the inaugural season of Super 6 (which kicks off in early November) has not yet been announced, but head coach Rob Chrystie says he is excited by how it is shaping up.
“The Southern Knights for 2019-20 is a really dynamic and well balanced squad with some local familiar faces,” said Chrystie. “The management team are determined to create an environment that will challenge all players, while creating a platform for those with the ability and desire to progress into professional rugby.
“This is an exciting time in Scottish rugby and I’m thrilled to be a part of it as we look forward to the inaugural Super 6 season. We can’t wait to get started.”