Southern Knights name Russell Anderson as captain for Super Series Sprint

Alan Tait has unveiled his 34-strong squad for campaign which kicks off next weekend

Alan Tait has named his 34-strong squad for the 2023 Super Series Sprint. Image: ©Craig Watson -
Alan Tait has named his 34-strong squad for the 2023 Super Series Sprint. Image: ©Craig Watson -

RUSSELL ANDERSON and Patrick Anderson have been named as captain and vice-captain respectively of the Southern Knights during their 2023 Super Series Sprint campaign.

“The squad has really come together well and has been building well over the past few months,” said new head coach alan Tait when naming his 34-strong squad for the campaign this [Saturday] morning. “Introducing an additional training session and bringing the players in earlier has helped us build a solid foundation and they are really starting to gel.

“The squad has got a mixture of youth and experience and includes players who have been in excellent form within the Premiership and National One. We’re really excited to see how they perform on the pitch in the coming Fosroc Super Sprint Series.”

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Meanwhile, Russell said: “It’s a privilege to be asked to captain the team and I’ve really enjoyed working under the new coaching group.

“The squad looks exciting with some local players looking to step up and test themselves in the Super Sprint Series. There’s a real buzz amongst the group and the competition for places is building which is going to make a big difference this year and really challenge the squad”.

Those players with ongoing commitments to their Premiership National One club’s will join the Knights following the conclusion of their club’s league or cup competitions.


Southern Knights 2023 Super Series Sprint squad –

PropsCraig Bachurzewski, Finn Barry, Jąck Dobie and Eoin Harrison.

HookersRussell Anderson (Captain), James Bett, Ben McLean and Harri Morris*.

Second-rowsJamie Campbell*, Erem Demirel, Will Hopes, Clark Skeldon and Cammy Thompson.

Back-rows Harry Borthwick, Rudi Brown*, Sam Derrick, Allan Ferrie, Connor Sutherland and Garry Young.

Scrum-halves Rory Brand and Callum Davidson, 

Stand-offs Harris Rutherford, Cameron Scott* and Luke Townsend.

CentresRobbie Chalmers, Ryan Cottrell, Adam Hall, Callum Grieve and Murray Wilson.

Back three Patrick Anderson, Keiran Clark, Aidan Cross, Finn Douglas* and Ollie Melville, 

* denote Scottish Rugby academy players

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About David Barnes 3995 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.


  1. There’s a lot of comments about U20 rugby and the development of same. For me, the problem stems earlier that that at the Academy set up.
    Players are selected…by ??…behind closed doors at U15/16 level and then are kept in the Academies until they are 18. Now, as someone who is very familiar with rugby at that level and I’m sure many others across the country see the same, what is the criteria to be selected at 15 for a programme until 18. Well….In my opinion: Size appears to be the number one selection criteria…Eh..skill. No that will come!! Will it!!
    You only need to go to a U16 game to see the massive difference in size between the players….two or three years later look how the same players size level out.
    Now, in my area I have asked various questions as to who picks the players at U16. Not a lot we can do with Nepotism because that appears to
    be a standard practice in rugby…I asked the coaches..‘not us’, ‘ask the YDO’….so I asked the YDO..’not me’, ‘ask the coaches’
    When nobody will take responsibility for selection it’s obvious there’s something far wrong!!

    Ok..during the two/three years of players engagement with the Academy process is their a policy of adding players who perhaps have improved their skills ‘or grown a couple of inches’…Answer: No.

    Ok…during that period are players asked to leave the Academy if they do not engage well or lose interest?

    Answer: No.

    Ok..What about the players that did not make the Academy at 15. Does anybody discuss with them why they didn’t make the squad, advise them to keep focusing and their abilities will be reviewed from time to time. Answer: No.

    So many believe they are ‘not good enough’…become disenchanted with rugby…decide to take up other sports or worse still wander the streets at nights with their mates.

    Engage better with young players, keep them focused on training and improving skills. Give them a possibility of selection to the academies if not at 15, perhaps 16 or 17.

    Stop this ‘closed shop’…’smoking mirrors’ shambles that is the SRU Academy system.

    • Spot on .once your in you can’t get out regardless how rotten you are .others never looked at .Why ?
      It’s a clique of the old boys club who have too much clout in Scottish rugby.
      Most of them couldn’t pick a snotter out their nose . .and looking at teams now it shows .

  2. Joe, if , as was the case , Townsend was suggested as good enough to be picked for Scotland U20’s then he should have had much more playing time for Melrose club than he has had this season and vice versa If he isn’t good enough for Melrose club side he should not have been in the frame for U20 selection. Player development is not just about putting a wee sign indicating home developed player next to a name on a team sheet , this means very little other than the player came through the club youth setup or school at some point and any Borders club would have a very similar picture if they chose to do this. This debate confirms the issues contributing towards the constantly bemoaned quality of the Scotland U20 side and why many of these players are not being developed in the right way. Super 6 in this case has probably rescued Townsend’s season because up until now it is clear it doesn’t look like the Melrose club have helped develop him. It all ends up being very confusing as the Knights who are a Melrose franchise now select him for Super 6. As MeigleMitch has pointed out on a previous post both the Knights and Melrose club have the same Director of Rugby … it must have been a very interesting conversation with Townsend in the circumstances ?! It now depends how much time he gets with the Knights and with a returning Cammy Scott in very good form for London Scottish and Harris Rutherford being better prepared over the course of the season by Gala , it may not be that much.
    On this forum I see regular criticism of the SRU and Super 6 however the clubs also have a huge case to answer and to be honest the onus on young player development is probably even more important for them when the clubs are normally a young players first exposure to adult rugby , not Super 6 etc
    Too many clubs and club coaches protecting their own interests rather than contributing towards the bigger picture and growing the game ,too many quite happy to play ageing players over young up and coming players.
    It doesn’t help with the message when Super 6 side Ayr Bulls picks players like Frazier Climo and at 36 this decision is just another example of not seeing the bigger picture – a truly unbelievable signing.
    One thing I will be interested to see is what the Edinburgh and Glasgow A sides look like because many of the players I expected to see in these sides are already signed to the other club franchises.
    The whole thing makes little or no sense and just emphasises the lack of cohesive thinking and decision making across all of Scottish Rugby.

    • Mr Dodson’s Super 6 is supposedly to help young players on the ladder to pro rugby.
      Presumably Frazier Climo must be a project player for the future .must be a late developer ?
      Why would he be in squad otherwise .

      You couldn’t make it up .

    • It seems you are trying to have it both ways. Criticising Melrose for not developing their own players whilst dismissing players who came up through their own youth set-up into the first team.

    • Its a bit of a ‘pointless’ point about Climo. He is effectively in the Bulls squad as a player coach. In the 1st season of Super 6 he made 3 starts, plus 3 from the bench. Last season of Super 6 he made one substitute appearance – that is all.
      The Bulls have a very young group of Scottish backs this season -Yule (17) Caqusau (18) Watson (18) Afshar (19) Townsend (20) Stirrat (20) Simpson (20) Elliott (20) Glendinning (21) Sheddan (22) Bardelli (22). They will rely a lot on the experience of Robert Beattie and Reiss Cullen among them. Suppose Beattie gets injured? Climo will probably only play in an emergency as an on-field coach. Don’t really see what the issue is. Same as Craig Keddie at Boroughmuir. Iain Wilson at Heriots. Lee Millar at Watsonians. Every club has one.

  3. I just don’t see how they can only name 4 props….given the strong likelihood that they’ll pick up an injury then straight away the Knights will be drafting in emergency players or loaning someone in from another team which starts devaluing the comp from the off. The only reason is there maybe some props who they have lined up to play but who don’t want an official contract as they’d be banned from playing back at club level. They just need to do away with that rule and let players play at whatever level they want with a limit of maximum number of games for player safety.

  4. A question for me in picking Townsend is why, when both the Melrose club side and the Knights have the same Director of rugby in Rob Moffat , why then is the player treated very differently by the two parts of the club ? How can a player who can’t get a regular game for the club Nat 1 side then get a place in the same clubs Super 6 team ??

    • Coaches getting family favoritism .
      Directors of Rugby looking after their friends
      It’s like a clique
      Welcome to Rugby in Scotland

  5. While I am not doubting the often obvious evidence of the benefits and influence of having a famous name – it probably has as much to do with the Melrose clubs inability or refusal to help develop this young talent as it has anything to do with Townsend himself. A Scotland U20 squad member or any decent young player for that matter should be given many more opportunities in a Nat 1 side than Townsend has been given this season and this is a a very poor reflection on Melrose’s as a club. Just look at Gala to see how to develop young players where Craig Dods moved to centre this season to accommodate the development of both Harris Rutherford and Gala Wands player Russell Kerr at stand off and both will have benefitted from this.
    Connor Sutherland deserves a place but , like Gary Young , I think their game time may be limited as it is a position of strength in the Knights squad.
    The 30 year old Polish international prop also has me asking the question …. why??
    Compared to the other squads the Knights squad is very lightweight both in terms of physicality and experience. There is a starting team of 15 that can compete but the depth of the squad is not very good and this squad will struggle as the Super 6 season progresses.

    • Have you seen how many home developed players have been playing in the Melrose side this season? To say Melrose don’t develop young players is frankly ludicrous. Maybe just maybe young Townsend isn’t considered to be good enough yet.

      • If he’s not good enough to be a regular for Melrose ( 2 games only ) how is he in a Super 6 squad .
        Nepotism abounds in Scottish rugby ..

        Colin Hill is spot on .

  6. Townsend must have really stood out in his 2 games for Melrose
    Cmon .
    Old boys club again.

    • Isn’t it an absolute farce? A seldom used replacement for a Nat 1 side suddenly appears in a Super 6 squad – how on earth does that happen? There are lads starting regularly in Nat 1 sides and even Premiership sides that haven’t been invited to Super 6. It simply stinks.

      • Connor Sutherland deserves to be picked .
        As far as I know a new guy to senior rugby .he played every game this season for Hawick and stood out .
        That’s fine by me .
        But others clearly get in by other means .
        I can remember when Alan Tait was in charge of Newcastle Falcons low and behold Alan Tait signed his own son from nowhere
        That can’t be right .
        You have to prove something first is my way of thinking .not picked on hearsay .Aka Townsend
        but that clearly is not the way in Scottish rugby circles

    • I’ve always said Super 6 is a farce . Normal fans not interested
      Hope somebody up at Dodson city has crunched the numbers.
      Looking at the numbers in all the squads it will go belly up .
      Clearly not sustainable .
      Then what.
      They’ve spoiled grass roots already


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