Boroughmuir skipper Andy Rose says he and his team-mates are champing at the bit ahead of tomorrow’s BT Cup final clash against Hawick and confident they can bring the trophy back to Meggetland after a ten-year absence.
Rose will lead ’Muir out at BT Murrayfield tomorrow evening (kick-off 5.45pm) and says the game can’t come quick enough.
“The mood in the camp is very good,” said the Zimbabwe- born flanker. “The players are excited and keen for it and just went to get on with it now. We’ve had quite a bit of a lay-off coming up to this – five weeks without a competitive game – but we’ve been building up nicely. We’ve kept ticking over with training, quite a few heavy sessions and internal games too. It’s all geared towards Saturday.”
Rose played with Scotland No.8 David Denton at school level and also captained Zimbabwe Under-19. He made the move to the UK and played for his mother’s homeland in the same Scotland Under-20 pack as Richie Gray. He also represented Scotland Sevens, but after falling short of a professional contract he has become a lynchpin at Boroughmuir and has also captained the Zimbabwe team at senior level.
He is keenly aware that it has been a decade-long wait for Boroughmuir to get their hands on the cup and knows how much it would mean. “There is a lot of excitement within the club,” he explained. “The supporters are really buying into it and getting behind the team. We’ve had a lot of YouTube videos from former players wishing us all the best from all over the world which shows what a community Boroughmuir is.”
The Boroughmuir-Hawick league matches this season both ended in home victories so there is not a lot to choose between the teams – with the Edinburgh side finishing the BT Premiership in eighth place, two places and six points behind tomorrow’s opponents.
Rose said: “It’s been that way the whole season. Only a couple of games have run away from us. Most of our matches have been close and that was certainly the case with the Hawick games. I think it’s going to be a very interesting game on Saturday.”
It has been a challenging season for Boroughmuir in which their attention has been focused more on the bottom end of the table than the top before safety was finally secured. Rose feels it is important to finish the season on a positive note.
He said: “It is very important yes, we want to be able to finish on a high and take some confidence into next season. We struggled up until Christmas but I think we had a good run of games in the second half of the season and the players showed what they can do. A good experience in the final on Saturday would be good to promote the club.”
Rose is well aware that Hawick are set to bring a large support and, despite the game being in Edinburgh, the Borders side will have the lion’s share of the support. But the ’Muir skipper is unfazed and confident his side will not be short of vocal support.
“I’d say to our fans to just come out, wear your colours, and support the boys. I’m sure they’ll make themselves heard.
“For me personally, it’s been a dream to play at Murrayfield. My mum is Scottish, she was born in Aberdeen, and all her side of the family will be coming down and it will be such an honour for me to run out. The boys are all very excited. It’s not very often you get a chance to play here at the national stadium and as long as the occasion doesn’t get to us there should be some good rugby played.”
Tomorrow’s final will be streamed live on Scottish Rugby TV’s YouTube channel.
The show will begin at 5.35pm with the BBC’s Bill Johnstone and Scotland’s all-time cap and points record holder, Chris Paterson providing the commentary. Scottish Rugby’s head of club services Nick Rennie said: “It’s great we can provide live coverage of the BT Cup final for a second year running. This is particularly good for fans that are overseas who will be able to cheer on their team from wherever they are in the world.”