Boroughmuir coach Fergus Pringle is urging his men to forget last week’s disappointing RBS Premiership defeat at home to Dundee High and focus on tomorrow’s trip to Hawick and the prospect of lifting the first silverware of the season.
The Bill McLaren Shield will be up for grabs and the winning team will become the holders until their next home match, when the shield will again be at stake.
“It will be a hard game with some special importance, as we are playing for the Bill McLaren Shield,” said Pringle. “It will be an honour to be the first two clubs playing for this shield.”
Boroughmuir will be without skipper Malcolm Clapperton, who suffered a hamstring injury last Saturday, but they have Robin Hislop back in the front row, while Matt Harvey – a close-season acquisition from Kirkcaldy – starts at flanker.
Another coach looking for an upturn in fortunes is Currie’s Ally Donaldson, whose side sustained a defeat at home to Gala.
He is still without several key men for the game at Melrose but their absence is offset by the return of Andy MacMahon at centre in a reshuffled back line that sees Barry Mansfield move to full-back in place if Jamie Forbes, who switches to stand-off. Donaldson also has Edinburgh scrum-half Chris Leck at his disposal for the first time. “It was a disappointing performance last week and an improvement is required,” said Donaldson. “They don’t come any harder than a trip away to the champions, who had a good away win last week.”
Meanwhile, Heriot’s are expected to have Edinburgh pro Alan MacDonald in the back row and stand-off Cammy Ferguson available after injury, as they seek to build on a winning start to the campaign when they visit Stirling County.
In Division Two, Stewart’s Melville and Watsonians, who both chalked up successes on day one, head for the Borders, with Stew-Mel facing Peebles and ’Sonians at Kelso.
Lasswade started life in the Premiership with a home win and will be looking to build on that result away to Dumfries, while Haddington seek to open their account at home to Kirkcaldy, having lost at Howe of Fife last week.