Boroughmuir welcome back captain and flanker Andy Rose when they entertain Watsonians in the Regional Cup at Meggetland tomorrow after he reached the pinnacle of his rugby career so far by captaining Zimbabwe to a 29-14 victory over Kenya.
Boroughmuir have lost momentum during his absence with back-to-back league defeats against Stewart’s Melville and Dundee, and will be looking to use the cup to stabilise.
Returning after injury is Rose’s fellow flanker Joni Hare while, in the backs, Robert Cairns moves to the wing with Ed Farquharson switching to full back. Dropping to the bench is Dave Reekie which allows Ben Cooper to get a first start at stand off.
Coach Bruce Aitchison said: “After our defeat at Dundee the squad are keen to get back on track with a cup game against Watsonians which will be tough if the league encounter is anything to go by.”
On that occasion Boroughmuir scraped home with a late try to win 32-25.
After impressing against Musselburgh in the cup a fortnight ago Watsonians give a number of fringe players a further opportunity.
That means the likes of Tom Gracie, Matt Poole, Josh Thomson, Ross Buchan and Dan Henry all start again while Craig Barrie and Stuart Niven, who have been playing well for the unbeaten second team, are also brought in.
Coach Marcus Di Rollo said: “The guys did well in the first cup match against Musselburgh so I am pleased to give them a run out again and keen to see others in action too.”
Stew-Mel visit Heriot’s in the cup and president Colin Rigby said: “The team has performed exceptionally well under the guidance of head coach Bruce McNaughton over the last couple of months. Last season we ran Heriot’s close for 60 minutes before power substitutions from the bench made the difference. Our boys, yet again, look forward to testing themselves against higher opposition. This will provide not only the club but the players with a bench mark.”
Currie continue their cup bid tonight at Lasswade.
Edinburgh Accies, meanwhile, have been warned they face a battle if they are to move back into the top half of the Premiership tomorrow with a win at Stirling County.
County coach Graeme Young says: “With Currie’s well-earned victory over Ayr at the weekend we are now neck and neck at the foot of the table. From here on each week will provide twists and turns and we need to start to accumulate league points to claw our way back up the table.”
Accies have Hamish Watson and Phil Cringle back after injury. Mike Campbell is on the bench after missing last week due to work commitments.