Super Series Sunday preview: Heriot’s rotate for Future XV visit

Goldenacre men will return to top of the table and guarantee themselves a home play-off with any sort of win

Heriot's host the Future XV at Goldenacre on Sunday afternoon. Image: Craig Murray
Heriot's host the Future XV at Goldenacre on Sunday afternoon. Image: Craig Murray

HERIOT’S head coach Ben Cairns has rotated his squad ahead of facing Super Series strugglers at Goldenacre tomorrow [Sunday afternoon] in recognition of this being their third match in eight days, following consecutive wins over the Ayrshire Bulls last Saturday and Stirling Wolves on Wednesday.

The fact that they are up against a Future XV who are yet to win a match in this campaign so far, and who Heriot’s beat 45-14 at the end of August, will also have provided Cairns with belief that he has scope to tinker with a winning formula this week.

Any sort of win will see the Goldenacre men return to top spot after relinquishing it when Ayrshire Bulls beat Boroughmuir Bears on Friday night and guarantee them a home play-off. With a game in hand over the Bulls, they would likely need another win from either of their two remaining games against Watsonians at home next Saturday or Southern Knights the following Friday to guarantee finishing top.


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George Barber comes in at 13 for Matt Davidson, who moves to the bench, Sam Pecqueur come in for free-scoring Jack Blain at 11, Ross Jones replaces Liam Richman at 10 and Euan McAra gets a deserved start at 9 in place of Fin Campbell.

In the pack, Callum Anderson, Wallace Nelson, Struan Cessford, Duncan Hood and Josh Scott all come in with Ronan Seydak, Ruairidh Leishman, Cairn Ramsay and Chris Keen moving to the bench. Michael Liness comes in as replacement hooker for the injured Cammy Fenton.

“We were really pleased with how the squad fronted up midweek versus Wolves and will be looking for the same attitude going into Sunday’s match,” said Cairns. “With a lot of competition for places and us coming into the business end of the season we expect the selected players to take their opportunity to impress.

“The Future XV have had a tough season in terms of results but there have been some clear improvements over the piece. With some big names back for them this week they are much closer to their strongest side we know we will have to maintain our recent standards of performance if we are to get anything from the match.”

The Future XV are boosted by the presence of last season’s Scotland Under-20s co-captain Liam McConnell, making his first appearance of the season, in the second-row rather than his regular blindside berth. Meanwhile, Tom Banatvala and Jerry Blyth-Lafferty are elevated to the starting front-row after making a positive impact from the bench during last Friday’s mauling. In the backs Finn Burgess, Isaac Coates and Ben Salmon all start with Kerr Johnston moving to the wing with Amena Caqusau rested.

“Friday was a disappointing result against the Wolves and we know as a group we have to see an improvement in our individual and collective performances this weekend,” said co-head coach Scott Forrest. “We had started to build on some encouraging performances in previous weeks but feel like we let ourselves down against the Wolves. We now look ahead to a consistent run of games which we know will help us build some much needed consistency in our performances.

“Heriot’s are setting the bar right now in the league and are playing some excellent rugby. We know we will have to front up physically this Sunday to give us the chance of competing and are hopeful we will see a positive response from the young group of players.”

 

Heriot’s (versus Future XV at Goldenacre on Sunday at 2pm): D King; L Wells, G Baber, G Hughes ©, S Pecqueur; R Jones, E McAra; J Scott, D Hood, S Cessford, C Jupp, J Campell, W Nelson, S Wallace, C Anderson. Subs: M Liness, C Keen, S Cessford, R Leishman, R Seydak,, S Broad, L Richman, M Davidson.

Future XV: J Hocking; K Johnston, B Salmon, K Yule, Finn Douglas; I Coates, F Burgess; T Banatvala, J Blyth-Lafferty, C Norrie, L McConnell, R Hart, T Currie, Freddy Douglas, J Morris. Subs: M Brogan, J Shearer, O Blyth-Lafferty, R Burke, C Nolan, J Beveridge, M Urwin, C Norrie.

Verdict: Home win.

 

Ket battle: Sam Wallace versus Freddy Douglas

 

Verdict: Home win.

Current table –


Super Series: Watsonians hit top form to sweep past Stirling Wolves

 

Current table –


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About David Barnes 3908 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.