REIGNING champions Watsonians have recruited a mixture of youth and experience to their squad for the 2023 Super Series Sprint competition.
The 11 new faces include full-back Jack Brown, who captained George Watsons College this season and has made a couple of appearances for the club 1st XV, prop Craig Davidson, whose performances for the club 1st XV led to his call-up to the national under-20s squad for their recent Six Nations campaign, and scrum-half Hector Patterson from Premiership champions Hawick.
“Jack is a promising youngster and having had a great season with the George Watsons College, Edinburgh and Scotland at age grade, he’s excited to step up and not just play but train with the more established players at the next level,” said head coach Stevie Scott.
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Watsonians director of rugby Chris Hunter added: “Craig has been involved with the Super Series squad, having trained with them in the gym and on the field last season whilst being a vital player in our club 1st XV.”
“He has worked hard with Fergus Pringle, Jason Riley and now Stevie Scott to improve his scrummaging technique and all-round game. Unsurprisingly, he enjoyed a lot of game time, starting four out of five matches for the Scotland U20 Six Nations campaign and didn’t look out of place against professional opposition.”
“Hector played well behind a good pack in the Premiership this season and that’s what makes him the right fit for us, we hope he’ll continue to develop with our team,” added Scott.
Experienced hooker Ross Graham has also returned to the club after playing the last season and a half with hometown club Hawick, and he will compete for the No 2 jersey against youngster Finn Duraj who joins from Musselburgh, as well as stalwart Cal Davies.
Mak Wilson (Southern Knights) and Murdo McAndrew (Southern Knights and Heriots) also add Super6 experience to the squad.
Recruitment has also stretched across the Irish Sea, with centre George Pringle joining the team from the All-Ireland League. “He will add great experience to the squad and is raring to go put a marker down in the Sprint Series,” said Scott.
Meanwhile, there are 18 players retained from 2022, with Scott stressing that some continuity is key.
“It was great to see so many want to come back,” said Scott. “I think that’s down to the great structure of the club, the facilities and the foundation built around the team. These players are ready to kick on from what was a great season for them last year and that’s great to see from them.”
Watsonians 2023 Super Series Sprint squad –
Props – Tom Banatvala*, Harrison Courtney, Craig Davidson, Robbie Deans*, Gregor Scougall and Mak Wilson.
Hookers – Cal Davies, Finn Duraj, Ross Graham, Patrick Harrison* and Campbell Wilson.
Second-rows – Luis Ball, Jamie Berrisford and Kieran Watt
Back-rows – Seb Cecil, Neil Irvine-Hess, Karl Main and Jonny Morris.
Scrum-halves – Murdo McAndrew, Hector Patterson and Murray Scott.
Stand-offs – Jason Baggott and Lee Millar.
Centres – Lewis Berg, Scott King, George Pringle and Findlay Thomson
Back three – Jack Brown, Dominic Coetzer, Angus Guthrie, Lomond Macpherson, Ross McKnight* and Harry Paterson*
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