Iain Milne has been involved with Heriot’s for many years, but he believes this week could just be the most special of the lot with the Barbarians and then Melrose visiting for two big matches.
This evening the famous invitational side the Barbarians are in town for the Investec Cup match (6pm) to mark the 125th anniversaries of both clubs. And then on Saturday Melrose will be the visitors to Goldenacre in the BT Premiership final.
Ahead of tonight’s match there will be a lunch held for 300 people in the clubhouse with many former players and a good number of supporters getting involved to mark the occasion. George Goddard, who was the Heriot’s captain in the year of the 75th anniversary, will also say a few words.
Milne, the former Scotland prop who famously played for the Barbarians alongside his brothers Kenny and David, said: “Everything is shaping up well for a cracking day.
“A lot of people have been working hard to get things ready for this big occasion and that has been brilliant to see. The club has come together and it makes me proud to be a part of it all.
“I have been too busy getting things organised to think too much about what this match means, but I have been involved with the club for a long time and when I see a packed Goldenacre enjoying this match I am sure I will be pretty emotional.
“As a player I was lucky enough to play in some great sides here and now being involved with the committee it has shown me that the same passion still exists.
“The current players really are a credit to the club and they are all buzzing. To get the chance to play the Barbarians and compete for the BT Premiership title in one week is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they are ready for it.”
With the pro season around Europe still ongoing it may have been hard for the Barbarians to get players released for this one, but it says something about the draw of the famous old club that they have managed to put a strong squad together.
Coached by former Scotland centre Sean Lineen, who is now Scotland Under-20s head coach, and Melrose head coach John Dalziel, the Barbarians squad will include former Goldenacre favourites Gordon Ross and Bruce Douglas.
“It will be great to see the two of them back at the club,” Milne stated.
“They will be looking forward to getting involved at Goldenacre again and the match should be full of running rugby and tries because that is the way that both sides like to play the game.
“That type of open game will also be helped by the fact that the weather is due to be dry while the playing surface at Goldenacre is second only to Murrayfield in terms of quality.”
In total, ten internationalists from seven different countries are due to be involved for the Barbarians this evening including Scotland caps Scott MacLeod and Grayson Hart while back-row Cornell du Preez, who made his long awaited comeback from injury for Edinburgh Rugby last week, is also listed.
Rory Lawson, who captained Heriot’s to Scottish Cup glory back in 2003 before turning professional, is to be part of the event as team manager for the Barbarians.
He said: “I am looking forward to seeing some old friends at the match while I think it will be a really entertaining encounter for all to come and see.”
Meanwhile, the longest serving current member of the Heriot’s first-team squad, Stewart Mustard, cannot wait for these two matches.
“It’s a huge honour for us to host the Barbarians and celebrate both clubs’ anniversaries – also the league title is currently the highest accolade we can win and it’s now a straight shoot out between ourselves and Melrose,” the front-row man said.
“I have had some great times at Goldenacre and played alongside some very good players. The main thing for me has always been about enjoyment and I am sure everyone will enjoy the Barbarians match.”
Tickets are available on the gate for tonight’s match at Goldenacre and it kicks-off at 6pm.
Heriot’s: Glenn Bryce; Harry Boisseau, Liam Steele, Max Learmonth, Colin Goudie; Stuart Edwards, Graham Wilson; Nathan Borel, Stewart Mustard, Struan Cessford, Russell Nimmo, Jamie Syme, Jamie Ritchie, Jason Hill, Jack McLean. Subs: Davy McGregor, JP Ward, Be Cogley, Chris Mulligan, David Sommerville, Gregor McNeish, Keith Buchan, Charlie Simpson.
Barbarians (from): Aled Thomas (Gloucester), Alex Rae (Jersey), Ali Price (Glasgow), Aston Croall (Blackheath), Bruce Douglas (Cardiff), Chris Morgan (Cornish Pirates), Chris Jones (Yorkshire), Chrysander Botha (Exeter), Cornell Du Preez (Edinburgh), Darran Harris (Scarlets), Garyn Smith (Cardiff), Gordon Ross (London Welsh), Grayson Hart (Edinburgh), Ian Mckinley (Viadana), James Pritchard (Bedford), Joshua Adams (Scarlets), Laurie McGlone (Cornish Pirates), Martin Garcia-Vega (Jersey), Matt Hankin (Saracens), Scott Macleod (Newcastle), Sireli Naqelevuki (Exeter), Titi Lamositele (Saracens).