Currie Chieftains welcome back scrum-half Charlie Shiel for tomorrow’s BT Premiership clash with Boroughmuir at Malleny Park (kick-off 2.30pm).
The teenager has been working with Edinburgh Rugby for more than two months as cover for the injured Sean Kennedy but has played no rugby during that time so his return is timely both for the club and for the player’s own Six Nations aspirations.
He replaces Matt O’Neill, who has been an able deputy during Shiel’s absence, and will combine at half-back with Glasgow professional Adam Hastings, whose inclusion means Jamie Forbes move to full-back. Chieftains, who are bidding to rally from a painful loss at Watsonians, are again without Harvey Elms who is on Scotland sevens duty and Luke Crosbie who continues to perform well with Edinburgh Rugby.
“We learned some harsh lessons last week against a side who were more physical and hungrier for the win,” admitted Chieftains coach Ben Cairns. “We have worked hard this week in training to make sure that this is not the case come Saturday.”
Muir welcome back hooker Johnny Matthews after his involvement at Edinburgh Rugby and coach Peter Wright wants a repeat of the better aspects of last weekend’s performance, while eliminating the negatives.
“Five tries against Melrose was a real positive but too many silly mistakes really hurt us,” said Wright. “So more of the good rugby and less of the poor rugby is a must against a Currie team who will be trying to bounce back after defeat last week.”
A bonus-point win last Saturday moved Heriot’s into third spot and they will be looking to boost their bid for a home play-off with a maximum haul at home to Glasgow Hawks (2pm).
They have recent Edinburgh signing Elliot Millar-Mills at tighthead as they bid to repeat the success they recorded in the reverse fixture.
Watsonians travel to meet Stirling County, the Myreside men’s final trip outside the Capital in the regular season with the remaining six fixtures being either at home or entailing a trip to face city rivals.
Sonians coach Steve Lawrie has been forced to shuffle his side in the wake of a hefty injury count sustained in the win over Chieftains. However, hooker Ross Graham is fit and ready to build on an impressive start to life at the club.