Rugby: Watsonians ready to give Ross his debut in derby duel

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Watsonians are set to give a debut to teenage hooker Ali Ross in tomorrow’s Capital Division Two rugby derby against Stewart’s Melville at Myreside.

Ross is added to the squad which defeated Falkirk last week alongside second row Ed Hunter who has returned from injury.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Accies have delayed selection for their visit to champions Melrose as the club count the cost of injuries sustained during a three-match losing streak.

That run has left Accies the near impossible task of needing two wins with at least one bonus point to make the top eight, and even then that would require a serious collapse by Stirling County.

Encounters don’t come any tougher than away to Melrose especially as the Borderers are reeling after losing at Stirling.

Coach Craig Chalmers, who is able to omit the Premiership’s top scorer Andrew Skeen with Scott Wight returning at stand off from Glasgow Warriors, said: “Last weekend at Stirling was a totally unacceptable first 60 minutes from a team with championship ambitions.

“It was sloppy and error-strewn and the players are all well aware of what must happen this weekend.

“We must have a positive reaction and get some consistency back into our overall performance. It has been a long week.”

Also turning out for Melrose is Edinburgh centre James King, while Scott McCormick comes in at scrum half.

In the forwards, Alun Walker replaces Richard Ferguson at hooker with Gary Elder and Ross Miller reverting to the second row, while Stuart Johnston keeps his place at blindside flanker after an excellent showing at Stirling and Graham Dodds returns at No 8.

* INTERNATIONALIST Dave Denton will make a lucky 13th consecutive appearance for Edinburgh when he tackles European champions Leinster in the Pro 12 League at Murrayfield tonight.

The 21-year-old back-rower has been an ever-present starter in the past dozen matches, including all six so far this term.

Having just signed a new contract, he said: “Edinburgh have done really well for me. I need to repay them.”