MURRAY DOUGLAS (the former Kirkcaldy, Aberdeen Grammar and Heriot’s second-row/flanker) is set to make his first appearance for Australian Super Rugby franchise the Melbourne Rebels off the bench against the Chiefs this Friday night at 7.45pm local time (6.45am on Saturday morning GMT).
The 27-year-old, who captained the Scotland Club XV against Ireland and France in 2014, moved to Australia at the end of that season after helping Heriot’s lift the Scottish Cup with a 31-10 victory over Glasgow Hawks in the final, stating that he hoped to break into the professional game.
“My traineeship with a law firm in Edinburgh is up in August and my girlfriend has just taken up a job as a junior doctor in Australia, so if I am going to move this would be an ideal time,” said Douglas at the time.
“In 2012 I went out to play in New Zealand for the Petone (Wellington) club. My old coach there has kept in touch even when he joined the Melbourne Rebels development staff. He asked for my rugby CV to be sent out and if there is nothing available for me in professional rugby in this country then I will look to give it a go out in Australia.”
Douglas represented Edinburgh once off the bench against Cardiff Blues in April 2012. His Heriot’s coach was clearly sad to see him go at the time.
“Murray is the best line-out forward in the club game by a mile. If he doesn’t get a pro contract we will lose him abroad. He has all the skills to make it in the pro game and maybe just needs a little more muscle,” said Phil Smith.
Upon arrival in Australia, Murray joined Harlequin club which play in the Dewar Shield (the premier grade rugby competition in Victoria) and was named in the back-up squad – Melbourne Rising – in 2015.
Image courtesy: Scottish Rugby/SNS Group