Schools rugby: Watson’s told to keep focus off history

Watson's Under-18s captain Kenny Drummond prepares for the Scottish Schools Cup final. Pic: SNS
Watson's Under-18s captain Kenny Drummond prepares for the Scottish Schools Cup final. Pic: SNS
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Ally Donaldson, the coach of George Watson’s College’s under-18 team, has urged his players to concentrate on the match in hand rather than thinking about making history in this evening’s Scottish Rugby Schools Cup final.

They take on Dollar Academy at BT Murrayfield (7.45pm) knowing they could be the first school to win the event four years in a row.

Since the competition first began in 1983/84, Merchiston Castle and Dollar have both won it three times on the spin.

George Watson’s have dominated the event since 2012/13, but Donaldson wants this year’s side to stay focused.

“It would be a great achievement for the school if we could win it for a fourth year in a row, but I don’t really look at it like that,” said Donaldson.

“Each school year brings together a new squad and while these boys want to win this game for the school they also want to taste success as a group and this is what they have been building for since the summer.

“They work very hard and what has pleased me most is the way they have all taken on board the things that they have needed to work on and performances have improved as a result.

“Dollar are a good team and we know that they are hard to break down defensively, so I am expecting a tough encounter.”

Of the George Watson’s teams who have won this event in recent times the likes of Ally Miller, Jake Kerr and Ben Robbins have gone on to play for Scotland under-20.

Robbie Nairn, who played in the win 12 months ago, is currently in Dubai with the Scotland Sevens squad and is a member of the Harlequins Academy down south.

The current crop understand that opportunities in rugby can come from being part of a big match like this.

Captain Kenny Drummond said: “Our best performance of the season came last week against the High School of Dundee in the semi-final so that really pleased me.

“We had to deal with injuries earlier in the season, but we have improved steadily as a team. Having played at the national stadium before in previous finals I can’t wait to get out there again.”