ROB CHRYSTIE has made five changes to the Scotland Club XV which will take on their Irish counterparts in Dublin tomorrow night, when they will look to turn around a 14-point deficit carried over from the first leg in order to retain the Dalriada Cup.
Craig Jackson has recovered from injury and will provide invaluable experience and creativity at outside centre, while his Melrose club-mate Patrick Anderson is named on the wing, with Craig Gossman of Boroughmuir reverting to full-back and Paddy Dewhirst of Ayr dropping to the bench.
In the pack, Iain Wilson gets the start at open-side ahead of Heriot’s club-mate Jack McLean, and another Goldenacre man in Jason Hill cones straight in at blind-side to add some serious physicality. That means Blair Macpherson shifts forward to the second-row, with Ruaridh Leishman dropping to the bench. Ross Graham of Watsonians had recovered from the swollen knee which caused him to be a late call-off last Friday to start at hooker.
“We know this weekend’s going to be a huge challenge, but the squad are really looking forward to getting out there,” said Chrystie. “If we’re honest, we were pretty disappointed with last Friday and we’ll be looking to right a few wrongs from that. We know we’re chasing things a little bit after the first leg, but we trained well on Monday night and it’s important to make the most of these sessions when we get the opportunity.”
Props Conor Young of Melrose and Lewis Skinner of Glasgow Hawks join the replacements, as does Hawks scrum-half Kaleem Barreto and Currie Chieftains utility back Jamie Forbes.
Scotland Club XV (v Ireland Club XV at Energia Park, Friday, 7.30pm): Craig Gossman (Boroughmuir); Patrick Anderson (Melrose), Craig Jackson (Melrose), Robbie Nelson (Currie Chieftains), Kyle Rowe (Ayr); Gregor Hunter (Currie Chieftains), Murdo McAndrew (Melrose); Shawn Muir (Hawick), Ross Graham (Watsonians), Steven Longwell (Ayr), Hamilton Burr (Stirling), Blair Macpherson (Ayr), Jason Hill (Heriot’s), Iain Wilson (Heriot’s), Peter McCallum (Ayr) CAPTAIN. Substitutes: Michael Liness (Heriot’s), Conor Young (Melrose), Lewis Skinner (Glasgow Hawks), Ruairidh Leishman (Heriot’s), Jack McClean (Heriot’s), Kaleem Barreto (Glasgow Hawks), Paddy Dewhirst (Ayr), Jamie Forbes (Currie Chieftains).
Scotland v Ireland coverage: