When the time comes to hand out Scottish Rugby’s annual awards, the SRU could do worse than introduce a medal for “best introductory performances at a new club”.
The winner would surely be Alex Cox, a centre who has taken Boroughmuir by storm.
Former Scotland under-20 cap Cox has posted a brace of tries in four of the six games – all wins – that have taken ’Muir to the top of the National League.
Next up on his hit-list is neighbours Watsonians in tomorrow’s top-of-the-table clash at Meggetland. Cox’s emergence on to the scene, according to the player himself, is down to Boroughmuir coach Bruce Aitchison, who signed the 25-year-old firstly at Murrayfield Wanderers last term and then for Boroughmuir during the summer.
“It is good to be able to reward Bruce for re-igniting my interest in rugby,” said Cox, who suffered relegation from the Premiership with his first club, Stewart’s Melville, in 2010.
“Soon after [relegation], I broke my foot and drifted away from rugby for a spell, until Bruce persuaded me to turn out for Murrayfield Wanderers.
“That really helped turn things around and when I had the chance to join Bruce at Boroughmuir, I jumped at it.
“I’m learning further from playing alongside the wise head that is Malcolm Clapperton and everybody is buying into Bruce’s analogy that the season is like a domino chain. We just try to knock them over, one by one, albeit the aim is to not only win promotion, but go through the season unbeaten.”
Cox’s pace and tries this season have resulted in him training with the Scotland Sevens squad and his excellent form, allied to Boroughmuir averaging just under five tries this season and Watsonians marginally less than six, suggests a high-scoring encounter is on the cards.
What isn’t, however, is a clash between two unbeaten teams. Although both are clear at the top of the league, Watsonians lost their 100 per cent record last weekend and Cox is expecting a backlash from the Myreside men.
“Watsonians surrendering their unbeaten record last week at Kelso only makes them more dangerous, especially as there is a feeling every team wants to put one over on Boroughmuir just now,” he said.
For the visitors to snap Boroughmuir’s winning streak, stopping the service to Cox will be key. “When you have a pack like ours, I’ve not really had to do very much apart from finish off moves,” Cox said.
Evidently, the forward battle will be one of the main areas where the match will be won or lost.
Elsewhere in the National League, Stewart’s/Melville will be going for three wins in a row at home to Dundee High FPs.
In the Premiership, Currie will look to build on their first win of the season at Aberdeen when they host Glasgow Hawks. They are boosted by the return of Joe Reynolds, Mike Vernal, Graeme Carson, Karl Main and Richard Snedden.
Coach Ally Donaldson said: “Hawks have had chances to win all their matches and have bolstered their squad with two Glasgow pros. We have used eight under-20s this season and they are improving as they get used to the intensity.”
Hawks list Glasgow pair Finlay Gillies and Tyrone Holmes at hooker and flanker.
Heriot’s entertain Aberdeen, with Mike McDonald making a first start at prop. Coach Phil Smith, however, is taking nothing for granted despite climbing to second in the table.
“Aberdeen will bring a size that we have not encountered so we will have to be precise at set piece and contact areas,” he said.
At Raeburn Place, Edinburgh Accies will have under-20 cap Calum Reid in their squad for the first time this season when they face Gala ahead of their British & Irish Cup match with Pontypridd next week.