Club rugby: Young talent set to clash as Heriot’s host Watsonians

Jamie Hodgson will play for Watsonians on Saturday
Jamie Hodgson will play for Watsonians on Saturday
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Some of Scotland’s emerging talent will be on show at Goldenacre tomorrow when Heriot’s clash with Capital rivals Watsonians in the Tennent’s Premiership (kick-off 3pm).

Both sides go into the encounter in buoyant mood, with Heriot’s having shrugged off a habit of first-day defeats to bag a bonus-point win over Glasgow Hawks, while Sonians brought down a confident Stirling County – winners of the Charity Shield the previous week.

One of three changes in the Heriot’s line up sees teenage second rower Charlie Jupp make his club debut in place of the injured Callum Marshall. Jupp will be pitted against Jamie Hodgson, a colleague at this summer’s World Under-20 Championship. Hodgson featured in Edinburgh’s pre-season matches, as did Jack Blain, who starts on the wing for the hosts while his fellow 18-year-old and former Stewart’s Melville team mate, Connor Boyle, is at flanker for the Myreside men.

“Last weekend had many positives,” said Heriot’s coach Phil Smith. “However, we need to move on quickly.”

His Sonians counterpart Steve Lawrie also expects a competitive affair, saying, “The derby factor has definitely added a little spice to training. Heriot’s showed their class last week. We know the level of focus and application that will be required.”

Boroughmuir will be seeking a more complete performance when they welcome Hawick. They led Curie Chieftains with 20 minutes to play, having shown glimpses of the flowing rugby that coach Peter Wright wants them to play but conceded two late tries. Wright has beefed up his front row with the inclusion of Edinburgh professionals Simon Berghan and Darryl Marfo, while Tom Wilson makes his debut for the club in the unfamiliar stand-off berth.

Chieftains face a tough trip to meet Ayr, the side that beat them in the Premiership play-offs and the cup last season, with coach Ben Cairns naming an unchanged back line but with a reshuffled pack due to injuries and unavailability.

Edinburgh Accies offered their supporters an insight into their battling qualities when they went down fighting at home to Ayr last week. They face another difficult assignment when they travel to meet Stirling County.