by DAVID MCADAM
THE OFFSIDE LINE’s team-of-the-week seems a popular feature across the players of the Premiership, going by the number of clubs who retweet the names of their players who get selected.
Considering how subjective the assessments are each week it provides a surprisingly accurate reflection of the league table at the end of the season.
By my reckoning, 152 different players were nominated this year (from approximately 452 players appearing in the Premiership). Listed below are the number of players and appearances in the TOW for each club, based on their league position.
- Currie Chieftains – 19 players selected for TOW making 47 appearances in total between them
- Marr – 17 (37 appearances)
- Hawick – 19 (37 appearances)
- Edinburgh Accies – 16 (34 appearances)
- Glasgow Hawks – 18 (24 appearances)
- GHA – 15 (22 appearances)
- Musselburgh – 13 (20 appearances)
- Jed-Forest – 14 (20 appearances)
- Selkirk – 12 (18 appearances)
- Aberdeen Grammar – 9 (11 appearances)
Picking a team from those with most selections over the season produces this TOL Dream Team for 2021-22 v –
15. Ben Appleson (Edinburgh Accies) – 4
14. Scott Bickerstaff (Marr) – 5
13. Jamie Shedden (Marr) – 5
12. DJ Innes (Currie Chieftains) – 5
11. Gregor Tait (Musselburgh) – 3
10. Kirk Ford (Hawick) – 4
9 Gareth Welsh (Hawick) – 2
1. Shawn Muir (Hawick) – 4
2. Matt Carryer (Hawick) – 3
3. Will Farquhar (Marr) – 4
4. Rhys Davies (Currie Chieftains) – 6
5. Hamish Ferguson (Currie Chieftains) – 5
6. Gregor Nelson (Currie Chieftains) – 3
7 . Fergus Scott (Currie Chieftains) – 3
8. Rauridh Campbell (Edinburgh Accies) – 4
A number of players have been chosen in a variety of positions. For example, Jamie Shedden and Scott Bickerstaff have been interchangeable at Marr, while Rhys Davies and Hamish Ferguson have had nominations in both the second and back row at Currie Chieftains. I have grouped their total number of appearances together in this selection.
The selection is dominated by the top four clubs, with the exception of Gregor Tait from Musselburgh, who sneaks in to my team ahead of Hamish Janes of Edinburgh Accies, and Jamie Forbes of Currie Chieftains, who both also had three nominations, on the basis of his superior try scoring record.
Scrum-half was the most contested position with 14 different players being nominated, and no scrum-half having more than 2 nominations.
Conor Bickerstaff would surely have made team of the season had he not been injured, as he had four nominations before his season was ended very prematurely in round 10. Jae Linton of Hawick and Gregor Hunter of Currie, with three nominations each, also might also have featured but for their injuries. Meanwhile, youngsters Gregor Hiddleston of GHA and Gregor Scougall of Currie Chieftains both got three nominations, and might have made the front-row were they not taken away for Scotland Under-20s duty before the season ended.
Charlie Brett of Currie (3), Danny Owenson of Musselburgh (2), Cole Imrie of Edinburgh Accies (4), Will Fleming of Musselburgh (3), Shaun Fairbairn of Hawick (3) Euan MacDougall of Selkirk (3) and Scott McClymont of selkirk (3) are all unlucky not to be included after very consistent seasons
Finally, a few anomalies. Luke Pettie (Selkirk), Gregor Young (Jed) and Michael Fox (GHA) started every game for their respective clubs and never got a single nomination – which is a bit tough on those consistently strong performers.
Wallace Nelson appeared in every single Currie Chieftains game, and is their only front line player not to get a nomination.
Ed Stuart (Edinburgh Accies) appeared once all season and got nominated! Sandy Watt (Musselburgh) finished 2nd top try scorer, and never received a nomination.
So to the play offs.
Remember the Olympic Curling? A complete new competition!