Super Series Round Five Saturday Preview: Heriot’s v Future XV

Home head coach mixes selection up for visit of struggling Future XV

Ross Jones will captain Heriot's from stand-off against the Future XV. Image: © Craig Watson -
Ross Jones will captain Heriot's from stand-off against the Future XV. Image: © Craig Watson -

HERIOT’S head coach Ben Cairns will used tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon’s Super Series Championship round five match against the struggling Future XV as an opportunity to rotate and refresh his squad, with 10 personnel one one positional change to the starting XV he selected to face Ayrshire Bulls last weekend.

“A bit of rotation this week as we welcome some players back to the squad and look to give others an opportunity,” said Cairns. “It has all changed in the backline with Euan McAra, Dan King, Ben Evans, Sam Pecqueur and Liam Richman coming in for their first starts of the Championship. Sinjin Broad and Lewis Wells are rested while Grant Hughes, Bruce Houston and George Barber move to the bench. Ross Jones will start at 10 and captain the side.

“The pack sees Struan Cessford and Cairn Ramsay rotate in as props for Chris Keen and Euan McLaren. Ben Smith moves to No 8 for the injured Callum Anderson, Wallace Nelson comes in for Iain Wilson and Duncan Hood starts at No 6. Fin Campbell and Sam Wallace, who provides emergency cover, come onto the bench.

RWC23: Scotland v Georgia: Kyle Steyn replaces Darcy Graham for final warm-up match

More time and money must be spent on youth rugby as new season kicks-off

Super Series: Boroughmuir Bears ready for Ayrshire Bulls showdown – Scott Robeson

“Saturday provides a great opportunity for us to bounce back after an under-par performance against Ayrshire Bulls last Friday,” Cairns added. “We have had a good week of training including a joint session with Edinburgh Rugby on Tuesday evening. We were delighted to host Edinburgh at Goldenacre, and it proved to be an invaluable experience for our players. The guys will have learned a lot from the session, and we will look to put some of those learnings into Saturday’s performance.

“The Future XV will be looking to bounce back after a tough afternoon at Bridgehaugh. We are preparing for a much tighter contest and have concentrated on ensuring we get our performance levels right back home at Goldie.”

For the Future XV, it must feel like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, as the look to bounce back from last weekend’s 92-14 drubbing by the Wolves.

“It’s great to welcome back Tom Banatvala after a lengthy injury absence and also Ollie Minnis who recently played for Scotland Under-20 in the Junior World Trophy,” said co-head coach Scott Forrest. “We have a really exciting young back-row trio and all will be looking to build on their positive performances from the first three fixtures.

“In the backs, Conor McAlpine is another player who comes back for his first game after a long period on the sidelines and we are excited to see how he performs. We also include two young players, Jack Craig and Jack Hocking, who most recently won gold medals for Team Scotland Rugby 7s at the Youth Commonwealth Games.

“Last week was a tough experience for everyone involved but this young group of players have responded really well and taken a lot of learning that they will look to put into their performance on Saturday,” Forrest continued. |As tough as last week was, the players have trained well this week and have worked hard to build on some key positives we took from the game.

“The task doesn’t get any easier as we go up against a quality Heriot’s team but everyone is looking forward to the next opportunity to go and perform at this level. Ultimately, this is part of preparing these players to go on and play for Scotland Under-20s later in the season against high quality opposition like France and Ireland.”



Heriot’s (versus Future XV at Goldenacre on Saturday @ 3pm): L Richman; B Evans, M Davidson, D King, S Pecqueur; R Jones ©, E McAra; S Cessford, M Liness, C Ramsay, R Seydak, J Campell, D Hood, W Nelson, B Smith. Substitutes: C Keen, J Scott, E McLaren, S Wallace, G Hughes, F Campbell, B Houston, G Barber.

Future XV: J Hocking; B Riley, J Craig, C Ferrie, A Caqusau; I Coates, C McAlpine; T Banatvala, F Duraj, O Minnis, C Nolan, R Burke, T Currie© F Douglas, O Duncan. Substitutes: E McGeoch, R Deans, R Cromar, G McKinnon, L Fergusson, R Cadzow, L Townsend, S Watson.

Referee: Jonny Perriam

Key battle: Struan Cessford versus Ollie Minnis

Verdict: It is a long way back for the Future XV after last weekend’s painful mauling and although they are boosted by the availability of some talented youngsters who weren’t involved against Wolves, and are also up against a Heriot’s XV without several key players, the challenge is still to keep it respectable. Home win.

More time and money must be spent on youth rugby as new season kicks-off

About David Barnes 4012 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.