Super6 Sprint: Ayrshire Bulls look to bounce back against top of the table Heriot’s

Last season's champions feel they have a point to prove after last weekend's loss to Stirling County

Top of the table can expect a ferocious challenge to their unbeaten record when they host Heriot's at Millbrae tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon. Image: George McMillan
Ayrshire Bulls visited Goldenacre in the Sprint Series back in April. Image: George McMillan.

HERIOT’S take their unbeaten record in the Super6 Sprint Series on the road to Millbrae tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon [4.30pm kick-off] fully expecting an Ayrshire Bulls backlash after their loss last week.

The Bulls started the season with a home win over Boroughmuir Bears, but were on the wrong side of the result at Stirling County last Saturday.

For this tasty-looking tie, Bulls’ head coach Pete Horne gives Glasgow Warriors’ Academy player Finn Callaghan – who has also played for Scotland Sevens this year – the nod at 13 while Cam Jones comes in to start at scrum-half with Jordan Lenac reverting to the bench.

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Tom Lambert, the Warriors’ professional who was a replacement last week, comes in to start up-front at loosehead prop as does Michael Scott at tighthead.

Edward Bloodworth shifts from six to the second-row while Rory Jackson, the Glasgow Warriors’ Academy player, and Ryan Sweeney, one of the stars of the 2021 competition, return from injury in the back-row. Andrew Nimmo is added to the bench and will cover loosehead.

“Although it was a disappointing result last weekend there were several very encouraging aspects to our performance,” Horne explained “There are still a couple of shifts we need to make to our game, but we have had a fantastic training week and I am excited to see the chosen 23 players go out and represent our group this weekend.

“Heriot’s have been the pacesetters so far this season, showing a great blend of power up front with some attacking flair to go with it. It should make for a brilliant game at Millbrae.”

Ross Jones, Nyle Godsmark and Bruce Houston keep their places in the Heriot’s starting backline, but there are four changes. Scotland under-20 cap Jed Gelderbloom comes in at nine while Sam Pecqueur is on the wing.

Edinburgh Rugby duo Freddie Owsley and Cameron Hutchison are available and start on the wing and at inside centre, respectively.

Up front, Euan McLaren comes in at tighthead prop with Struan Cessford on the bench while Edinburgh Rugby Academy player Jamie Campbell, who came through the ranks at Biggar, starts in the second-row. The strong back-row of Jack Mann, Iain Wilson and Jason Hill remains intact.

Loosehead prop Josh Scott and winger James Couper earn bench spots.


“The Bulls had a tough game at Stirling last week and will be motivated to get a home win this week, so we are in for a tough contest,” Heriot’s head coach Andy Kelly said. “As a result, we are focusing on ourselves again this week. We gave away possession in our own half far too easily last week so will focus on trying to play more rugby in the Bulls half. The aim is to go three from three and the confidence is high in the camp.”

The match will be on the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and the Scottish Rugby website.


Ayrshire Bulls (versus Heriot’s Rugby at Millbrae, Saturday @ 4.30pm): Liam McNamara; Elias Caven, F Callaghan, T Jordan, A Tait; C Townsend, C Jones; T Lambert, G Stewart, M Scott, E Bloodworth, A Samuel, R Jackson, R Sweeney, B Macpherson©. Subs: A McGuire, A Nimmo, C Henderson, Lewis McNamara, J Knight, J Lenac, M Minogue, T Lanni.

Heriot’s Rugby: R Jones; S Pecqueur, N Godsmark, C Hutchison, F Owsley; B Houston, J Gelderbloom; C Keen, M Liness, E McLaren, R Leishman©, J Campbell, J Mann, I Wilson, J Hill. Subs: D Hood, J Scott, S Cessford, F Hastie, R Seydak, M McAndrew, R Kay, J Couper.

Referee: Keith Allen


Key clash: Finn Callaghan versus Nyle Godsmark


Verdict: The Bulls were left frustrated by the outcome at Bridgehaugh last weekend and you get the feeling they will have had a very focused training week. Having Ryan Sweeney, a big ball carrier and combative all round presence, back in the back-row will help them a lot while many people in Scottish rugby are excited to see more of young Finn Callaghan.

The men wearing four, six, seven and eight for Heriot’s – skipper Ruairidh Leishman, Jack Mann, Iain Wilson and Jason Hill – have led the way for the Goldenacre outfit so far and set the standards. If they can get Freddie Owsley ball he has pace to burn.

To go to the 2021 champions and beat them in their own back yard would be a statement and, if they get things right, Heriot’s could just do that.

Tight away win.

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About Gary Heatly 463 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.