Champions Heriot’s can’t wait to start

Graham Wilson in action for Heriot's

Graham Wilson in action for Heriot's

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Heriot’s enjoyed a near-perfect anniversary season last term but scrum-half Graham Wilson insists the Goldenacre club’s appetite for success remains voracious.

The Edinburgh side defeated Melrose 22-20 with a last-gasp try in a thrilling inaugural BT Premiership Grand Final at Goldenacre in April just days after hosting the Barbarians in a special match to mark the club’s 125th anniversary. The only slight blemish was the tight 6-3 BT Cup semi-final loss at Hawick.

The new BT Premiership season was launched at the sponsor’s Edinburgh Park Scottish HQ yesterday and today Wilson said Heriot’s were fired-up to defend their crown.

“It had been quite a long time since Heriot’s had last won the league and it was such an amazing finish to the season, winning it in the play-offs like that,” said the 29-year-old son of former Scotland B cap Duncan Wilson. “There has been a lot of excitement getting back into it, pre-season’s been good. We’re at the stage now where we’re just looking forward to getting started.”

The core of the championship-winning side remains, though the man who scored that dramatic title-clinching try, back-rower Jason Hill, has earned a partnership contract with Glasgow Warriors.

Wilson said: “I think Phil Smith and Stevie Lawrie found it the easiest summer in terms of recruitment. A lot of people have been keen to join with us doing well.

“We’ve lost a few to with Jason going to Glasgow and Dave McGregor and Jono Armstrong moving on to clubs down south. But we’ve brought in some good players and should be strong again.”

Heriot’s, and BT Cup holders, Boroughmuir, will not feature in the first regular round of games, as they play for the BT Charity Shield on Saturday, August 29. The game, which will take place on the international pitch at BT Murrayfield, will form a curtain raiser for Scotland’s Summer Test match against Italy.

But Currie will be in action next Saturday as they host Stirling County in their opener at Malleny Park.