Up and Under: Whistle-stop stay is aid gesture to Rwandan ref

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Think of Rwanda and, sadly, dark images of 1990s genocide may still come to mind or, on a good day, world famous gorillas which populate the central African country’s mountain regions.

But Edinburgh Rugby Referees Society are currently doing their bit to up-date the picture thanks to sponsorship of whistler Gerald Nsengiyumva, who has been flown over at their expense in a bid to further develop Rwandan rugby and tomorrow he will take charge of a second match in the Lothians.

Following on from a Portobello 2nds versus Stewart’s-Melville 3rds fixture, Gerald, a 37-year-old transport company employee, will handle Preston Lodge High versus Earlston High in a Brewin Dolphin Schools’ Plate tie.

On Saturday, he will conclude his trip by refereeing an Edinburgh Academy v Merchiston Castle 2nds match.

Colin Brett, Edinburgh Referee Development Manager, says: “This started when myself and [former Scotland coach] Frank Hadden were invited to Rwanda last year on a trip organised by the Penguins Select as part of a charity programme.

“We found enthusiasm and abilities beyond our wildest dreams in a country where there are ten teams but no proper pitches. Gerald is part of a bid to create a pool of referees.

“Merchiston Castle have provided accommodation and through Frank Hadden’s auspices 250 pairs of boots were recently freighted out to Africa.”

Just Barry

Currie winger Barry Mansfield’s amazing scoring continued at the weekend as a hat-trick at Hawick took him to 11 for the season and ten from the past five matches.

PREMIER ONE TOP

TRY SCORERS

11: Barry Mansfield (Currie).

7: Willie Wardlaw (Aberdeen), Mike Entwhistle (Currie), Grant Anderson (Ayr).

6: Sep Visser (Boroughmuir), Erland Oag (Aberdeen).

5: Sean Crombie (Boroughmuir), Andrew Skeen, Fraser Thomson (both Melrose), Alan Emond (Gala), Alex Moffat (Stirling).

Media blackout proved all White

A MEDIA “blackout” at Hearts brings to mind a Scotland rugby tour of New Zealand when similar restrictions were briefly imposed to the bemusement of players and Press alike, especially as we were travelling together and sharing living quarters. Hence an encounter in a hotel corridor with forward Derek White on the way to breakfast. Said Derek: “Good morning – and don’t dare quote me on that!”