Stewart’s Melville head into the new RBS National League this weekend as something of an unknown quantity with a number of changes in personnel having occurred over the summer.
The Inverleith men have lost key performers such as Craig Marshall and Liam Steele to the top flight, but on the face of it the players they have brought in look like they will fit in well.
Getting Kiwi stand-off Nick McCashin back – he previously played for them in 2010/11 – and naming him captain is a great move while Alan Whittingham, previously of Currie, is a good winger and John Coutts will be an important player in the centre. Scrum-half Sam Rowlands is also one to watch.
Up front the experienced duo of Willie Aitken at prop and Donald Sangster in the back-row will be crucial to helping the younger players and those who have come from a lower level get used to the pace of the division. Back-row Denis Pech from Currie could also be a useful addition.
Captain McCashin said: “It is great to be back at the club. I had a great time here a few years back and I am looking forward to the season ahead.
“The squad is almost unrecognisable from the one that was here last time, but that is the nature of rugby and some of the younger guys have really impressed me in pre-season.
“They are willing to learn and listen and if we stick together as a group then we will do just fine in the next few months.
“I have heard that any team can beat any other on their day in this league so we won’t be looking any further then the next match though,” McCashin went on.
And tomorrow Stewart’s Melville make the trip to take on newcomers GHA at Braidholm.