Super6: Pat MacArthur aims to blend youth with experience at Ayrshire Bulls

Robbie Nairn, George Thornton and Robert Beattie are among the new recruits at Millbrae

Ayrshire Bulls kick-off their 2021 Super6 campaign with a home match against Watsonians on 1st August. Image: Bryan Robertson
Ayrshire Bulls kick-off their 2021 Super6 campaign with a home match against Watsonians on 1st August. Image: Bryan Robertson

AYRSHIRE BULLS head coach Pat MacArthur has named a 32-man squad containing 12 players who have either come through the club’s youth structure or played previously for the side prior to the launch of Super6, and the former Glasgow Warriors and Scotland hooker has added in the experience of several former professionals from Scotland and beyond as the Millbrae side look to improve on their third place finish in the regular section of the league’s inaugural season.

“I’m really happy with the squad we are building, there will be a lot of competition for places,” said MacArthur, who took over the reins for the Seasiders back in May after Pete Murchie moved on to an assistant coach role with Glasgow Warriors.

“What’s especially pleasing is that almost half of the players have been a part of the Ayr system and we will give other players from the southwest of Scotland the opportunity to play in the FOSROC Super6 competition.


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“At Ayrshire Bulls we want to build the right culture and environment where players will be challenged and improve. We are proud to be part of the process where they then move on to full-time contracts.

“Our squad has a mix of young Scots with some older heads, and there is quality dotted throughout. Blair Macpherson will be the captain; he’s constantly been outstanding and has been one of our leaders for a long time.”

In the front-row, Bulls have signed Scotland Club XV tight-head Calvin Henderson from Marr (and previously Biggar), while Craig Miller, who can play on either side of the scrum, steps up from Ayr’s National 1 side.

In the back-row, Gavin Wilson has been recruited from Dumfries Saints and Ryan Sweeney has joined from Glasgow Hawks.

Former Glasgow Hawks utility back Robert Beattie has moved back north after spells playing in the English Championship for London Scottish and  Ealing Trailfinders, while winger Aaron Tait returns to his native Ayrshire after spells with Bay of Plenty in New Zealand and Loughborough University

Utility back Matt Davidson returns for a second season with the Bulls after a stint at London Scottish, while prop George Thornton and winger Robbie Nairn will bring the professional experience of their time as full-time members of Glasgow Warriors’ squad up until the end of last season.

“It’s an honour to be named captain for the upcoming season,” said Macpherson. “There are a number of great leaders within the team, there’s been a few changes to the squad, and I am excited to take to the field with all our new talent.”

 

Ayrshire Bulls squad to compete in the 2021 FOSROC Super6 –

Forwards: Michael Scott, George Thornton, Alexander McGuire, Rhodri Tanner, Calvin Henderson, Ruairidh Sayce, Craig Miller,Edward Bloodworth, Tom Everard, Ewan Bulger, Peter McCallum, Ryan Sweeney, Yaree Fantini, Gavin Wilson, Blair Macpherson ©, Jamie Drummond*, Alex Samuel*, Rory Jackson*.

Backs: Harry Warr, Jordan Lenac, Matt Minogue, Tom Jordan, Tom Williams, Tom Lanni, Robert Beattie, Aaron Tait, Elias Caven, Robbie Nairn, Gavin Lowe, Matthew Davidson, Christian Townsend*, Finlay Callaghan*.

*FOSROC Contracted Academy Player


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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.