Currie second row Jamie Gray will go into tomorrow’s make-or-break BT Premiership clash with Glasgow Hawks at Malleny Park imbued with the spirit that took his dad’s Scotland team to grand slam glory 25 years ago.
As part of the build-up to a match that Currie could book the final place of four places in the title play-offs, Jamie accompanied his father Chris and family last weekend to a reunion ceilidh organised by 1990 Scotland skipper David Sole.
“I wasn’t born when the grand slam was clinched – I came along two days before Scotland’s world cup semi-final with England a year later – so it was great to meet up with all those players who achieved so much. Hopefully, some of their abilities have rubbed off on me for this weekend,” said Jamie.
Earlier this season Jamie, who is 6ft 4in and 16st, was invited to turn out for Glasgow Warriors A against Edinburgh A and while at Exeter University he represented the local Chiefs in an LV Cup match against London Welsh.
It was a meeting with Rob Brierley, performance development manager for Scottish rugby Exiles, that resulted in Jamie offered the chance to take up a youth development role at Currie. “When Currie coach Ben Cairns then got in touch I jumped at the chance to come up to Scotland where I still have family.
“I have a degree in human biochemistry, though, and at the moment I’m undertaking job interviews so we’ll have to see where that takes me. But if it is to be my one and only season at Currie I’d love to make it even more memorable by reaching the play-off semi-final at Heriot’s.
“They’ve beaten us three times by the narrowest of margins so revenge would be good but nobody will be thinking that far until we get past a Hawks side whom we drew 24-24 with on a windy day early in the season.”
It was shortly afterwards that game that Gray broke his collarbone to spend four months on the sidelines but now restored to fitness he promises to be a major thorn in Hawks flesh tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Currie coach Ben Cairns has warned his side they have to break down the meanest defence in the BT Premiership tomorrow as Hawks travel having conceded just 271 points – a remarkable statistic considering they could yet be dragged into a winner-takes-all relegation clash with the second top team in the National League.
Their resolve hasn’t been lost on former Scotland centre Cairns, who says: “We are under no illusions of how difficult a task it will be to get the right result.”
Currie’s pack is unchanged with Richard Snedden and Robbie Nelson returning to the backs. Scotland cap Kevin Bryce is released by Glasgow and sits on the bench. Hawks stand-off George Horne is back from Scotland under-20s and Gregor Hunter (ex-Edinburgh) is on the bench after long term injury.