Southern Knights bolstered by Edinburgh reinforcements for Doddie Weir challenge match

Russell Anderson will captain home side, which contains a blend of youth and experience, while visitors have a few familiar faces within their ranks

Billy Wara will be at outside centre for Southern Knights against Newcastle Falcons (tomorrow) night. Image: © Craig Watson -
Billy Wara will be at outside centre for Southern Knights against Newcastle Falcons (tomorrow) night. Image: © Craig Watson -

SOUTHERN KNIGHTS have been bolstered by the release of 13 players (nine starting and four among the replacements) from Edinburgh’s senior/academy set-up for tomorrow [Friday] night’s ‘Doddie’s Club Trophy’ clash against Newcastle Falcons at The Greenyards.

This piece of silverware was introduced to the rugby calendars of both clubs during the 2019-20 season to help raise funds and awareness for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which was set up to support Doddie Weir – a rugby legend in both Melrose and Newcastle – in his brave battle against Motor Neurone Disease.

Falcons won the inaugural Doddie’s Club Trophy with a 57-10 win over the Knights in front of a crowd of 5,484 at Kingston Park in January 2020.

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“We’ve been able to select a balanced squad of youth and experience has been pulled together from the Southern Knights and Edinburgh Rugby for this annual fixture,” said home head coach Rob Chrystie. “Russell Anderson will lead the Knights out whilst being supported by experienced Scotland international Henry Pyrgos, who starts at scrum-half.

“We are all really excited to watch how this young exciting squad, in collaboration with Edinburgh Rugby, performs against a strong Newcastle Falcons team.

“Hopefully Friday night’s match will draw another large crowd for an extremely important cause. With the added incentive of the Doddie’s Club Trophy up for grabs, both teams will be determined to put in a performance that everyone can be proud of.”

The six Southern Knights squad members in the starting XV for this match are Russell, winger Iain Sim, outside-centre Billy Wara, loose-head prop Shaun Gunn, second-r0w Angus Runciman and blindside-flanker Harry Borthwick.

Meanwhile, the visitors have a few familiar faces to the Scottish scene, with former Ayr, Scotland Undeer-20s and Glasgow academy hooker Robbie Smith in the No2 jersey, and Scotland cap Gary Graham (previously of Gala) at No8.

“We have always been keen to help Doddie’s charity with their great work funding research into motor neurone disease, and would urge as many people as possible to come along and support this fixture,”said Falcons’ Director of Rugby Dean Richards..

“We played Southern Knights at home for the cup a couple of years ago, and were always keen on doing so again. With having a bye week in the Gallagher Premiership, this seemed like the perfect time to do it, and it should be a good game for an outstanding cause.”

Tickets for the match are priced at £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and. Entry will be free for under-18s. Click HERE to buy your ticket.


Teams –

Southern Knights (versus Newcastle Falcons at The Greenyards on Friday 29th October @ 7.30pm): J Blain; I Sim, V Wara, C Dean, F  Owsley; C  Savala, H Pyrgos (VC); S Gunn, R Anderson©, D Gamble, P Phillips, A Runciman, H Borthwick, C Boyle, B Muncaster. Replacements: A McBurney, S Grahamslaw, E McLaren, J Campbell, R Knott/A Ferrie, C Jones/J Baggott, N Godsmark/ M Currie, P Anderson/C Scott.

Newcastle Falcons: A Tait©; O Lindsay-Hague,  G Wacokecoke, M Wright, I Stephens; W Haydon-Wood, C Nordli-Kelemeti; L Mulipola, R Smith, M Tampin, W Montgomery, G Merrick, J Basham, C Collett, G Graham. Replacements: C Smith, M Dormer, K Cooper, P Brantingham, F Lockwood, M Dalton, J Blackett, L Johnson, Z Kerr.

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About David Barnes 3112 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.