Super Series: Boroughmuir Bears hope to bounce back against unbeaten Ayrshire Bulls

Martin McGinley in line to become first Bears player to make 50 competitive appearances

Boroughmuir Bears host the Ayrshire Bulls at Meggetland tomorrow night. Image: Steve Langmead
Boroughmuir Bears host the Ayrshire Bulls at Meggetland tomorrow night. Image: Steve Langmead

MARTIN MCGINLEY will become the first Boroughmuir Bears player to reach the  50 competitive appearances milestone when he wears the No 3 jersey in tomorrow [Friday] night’s  Super Series Sprint round three clash against Ayrshire Bulls at Meggetland.

The tight-head prop has been selected in a much-changed pack as the hosts look to bounce back from last weekend’s set-back away to the Southern Knights. Fellow front-five men Callum McFeat Smith, Arthur Allen and Jack Fisher are the only other survivors, with Max Laboda re-installed in the second-row having been rested last week, while Myles Lowe, former Scotland U18s and U19s cap Drew Davison (recent recruited from Darlington Mowden Park) and Corey Tait (switching from hooker to No 8) form a new-look back-row.

The Bears backline is unchanged, and with Glasgow Warriors ‘A’ calling off their game against Stirling Wolves this weekend,  academy prospects Ryan Burke and Johnny Ventesei have been released to get game-time off the home bench.

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“As much as our round one win over Glasgow Warriors ‘A was pleasing for the group, the excellent aspects of that perfomance were not replicated against Southern Knights,” reflected bears head coach Graham Shiel. “As always there are many lessons to be learnt and many areas to work hard to improve.

“The Bulls continue to perform with the most consistency in this competition having been very much at the forefront of Super Series rugby since its conception. They were impressive in their outing last week and we are expecting a very tough and physical match. It will be a real test for the group.”

Meanwhile, Bulls head coach Pat MacArthur has made eight changes to his starting XV as the west coast side hunt a third win from three matches so far.

In the backs, former Scotland Under-20s stand-off Richie Simpson replaces David McCartney (having started in the No 10 jersey for Glasgow Warriors ‘A’ against the same opposition a fortnight ago), Luca Bardelli takes over at full-back from the benched Marcus Kershaw, and the influential Bobby Beattie also drops to the bench so that Robbie Orr can get a start in the centre.

Up front, James Malcolm is rested with Alex McGuire getting a start at hooker, and Oscar Baird joins the back-row in place of the benched Tim Brown.

“We were happy with the performance against the Watsonians, the team showed improvement in a number of areas we are working on,” said MacArthur. “We will look for another strong performance this week against a Bears team that will be hurting from their game against Southern Knights.”


Boroughmuir Bears (v Ayrshire Bulls in round three of Super Series Sprint at Meggetland on Friday @ 7.35pm): E Muirhead; M Reid, R Kerr, S Robeson ©, R Stewart; G Paul, R  Swan; C McFeat Smith, A Allen, M McGinley, M Laboda, J Fisher, M Lowe, D Davison, C Tait. Replacements: Z Griffiths, R Brown, Z Toerien, R Burke, L Habib, J Beveridge, A McLean, J Ventesei.

Ayrshire Bulls: L Bardelli; T Glendinning, R Orr, A Stirrat, M Cullen; R Simpson, F Johnston; J Drummond, A McGuire, R Tanner, E Bloodworth, R Jackson, O Baird, L McNamara, B MacPherson ©. Replacements: J Malcolm, J Shearer, C Henderson, T Brown, J Shedden, R Cullen, R Beattie, M Kershaw.

Referee: David Sutherland

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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.