Heriot’s will take the opportunity tomorrow to pay tribute to one of the unsung heroes of their Premiership title push ahead of a vital clash with Currie at Goldenacre.
A familiar figure coaching from the touchline this season is injured Edinburgh hooker Steve Lawrie, out of action since making a Scotland debut against Samoa on the summer tour.
According to Heriot’s vice president Iain Milne, no official photograph of Lawrie’s cap presentation occurred and the aim is to rectify that tomorrow as part of a “thank you” for services rendered so far.
Milne, right, said: “Steve has been a huge help, not just in bringing specialist knowledge to defence and the breakdown area. He understands the club game and our players have been feeding off his advice in the pavilion after games.
“Steve has also played for us in the past and so when he receives his cap from my brother, Kenny, also a Scotland hooker, it will be to add his photograph to the photo gallery of internationalists on the wall.
“Having gained international honours out in South Africa, I’m particularly pleased Steve’s mum and dad have agreed to come along as lunch guests and see him receive a cap presentation.”
Milne admits tomorrow’s match is a must-win given Heriot’s lie third, but seven points adrift of leaders Gala with five matches remaining.
“Anything is still possible, but there’s no doubt that every match is a cup final for us as the league goes into its final phase,” said Milne.
Currie coach Ally Donaldson has warned his squad there can be no slackening of resolve either when they bid for a seventh consecutive victory.
Through to the Edinburgh Regional Final of the Scottish Cup and bolstered by a trio of league wins, the Malleny Park outfit, who have averaged 39 points during their hot streak, still find themselves anchored at the foot of the Premiership table, albeit the gap is closing on fellow relegation candidates Stirling County and Aberdeen.
And Currie must feel they are the rugby equivalent of Sisyphus, that character from mythology condemned to push a boulder up a hill for eternity, when they contemplate how the bar has been raised for them tomorrow.
It is no fault of Heriot’s, but they find themselves in the fortunate position of being able to include Edinburgh pro’s Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Sean Kennedy, as well as Sevens cap Mike Maltman, while Currie’s allocation on release from the full-time ranks amounts to one player – hooker Stuart McInally.
It is a situation that sometimes works for and against and Donaldson is typically stoical and putting more emphasis on a 19-32 defeat by Heriot’s earlier in the season, Donaldson said: “Heriot’s have been going exceptionally well and still have a realistic chance of winning the league. Their win at Ayr in the previous league match is testament to their quality.
“This week they are also boosted by the availability of three professionals to add to an already strong squad.
“Their win against us at Malleny Park earlier this year was very impressive and we will have to be at our very best just to be competitive.”
Edinburgh Accies, who have been joined for a month by Jack Denton – younger brother of Scotland cap David – before he returns to take up a place at Stellenbosch University, head for The Greenyards hoping to become one of those few clubs able to claim a seasonal league double over Melrose.
In the National League, Boroughmuir still hold a comfortable lead heading into a meeting with sixth-placed Kelso at Poynder Park, but know they cannot afford any more slip-ups.
Rising star Magnus Bradbury gets a first Boroughmuir start at flanker, while Craig Marshall, Graeme Blackhall and Mark Hare return to the back line and Adam Best takes over from kiwi Trent Sutton at second row.
A full-strength Stewart’s Melville visit Biggar with Donald Sangster and Ruairdh Stewart back after injury, while second-placed Watsonians are at fourth-placed Dundee High.