Currie president Phil Thomas has paid tribute to skipper Ross Weston, who has called time on his career after 12 years with the Malleny Park club.
Weston signed off with a typically rumbustious, try-scoring performance in Saturday’s BT Premiership play-off semi-final defeat against Melrose, a disappointing finale for a man who has been a key figure throughout the club’s most successful period.
However, the universally liked and respected 33-year-old leaves with many great memories and with a ringing endorsement from Thomas.
Of Weston’s contribution to the club’s fortunes, Thomas said, “Over his career at Currie, Ross has been an outstanding example of the very best in Scottish club rugby. A very skilful and forceful player on the field, his commitment to rugby and to the club has been exemplary. Whether in matches, training, bringing on young players or supporting the development of our youth rugby, he has always contributed to the full.”
And, underlining the respect that the No.8 has earned during his spell at the club, Thomas added: “Well known for his modesty, he has become and will remain a Currie legend; and the rugby attitudes he has fostered have been absorbed into the club’s DNA.”
Weston, who made his senior debut for Haddington at the age of 16, subsequently moved to Currie and became a fixture in the side that twice secured the league title. His innate ability to be in the right place at the right time ensured a reputation as a prolific scorer – he dotted down eight times in the current regular season – and earned him 12 appearances for the Scotland club international side which he also captained.
Weston’s gentle off-field demeanour was entirely at odds with the ferociously competitive back rower on the pitch. He insists that he has enjoyed every aspect of his time in the game but admits that the greater demands on his time tipped the scales on his decision.
“It’s a massive commitment nowadays. It’s complete night and day to when I started. It was Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Now you’ve got your additional work, your analysis work and it just takes its toll over 12 years. I’m obviously not getting any younger.”
Weston, a mechanical engineer, leaves with an impressive haul of honours, but admits that he has endured a rollercoaster of emotions and outcomes during his spell at Currie.
“The two league wins were absolutely massive. The first one was special and then to do it again a couple of years later was absolutely incredible. We had a couple of years when we were around the bottom of the league then for the last three years we’ve made the play-offs. Every minute has been a highlight.
“The first year I started, we couldn’t buy a win and then we went on a late charge and finished third. We got to the cup final although we got beat by Watsonians that day. After that we went and won the league, for a couple of years we were there or thereabouts then we won it again and we had a couple of low years and then the last three years we’ve been in the play-offs but just haven’t quite managed to get past the semis.”
And, he insists, Currie are well-positioned to kick on from the current levels and challenge for honours over the coming seasons.
“I am most definitely leaving the club in a better place – all the young guys are only going to get better and better. I will enjoy watching it from the sidelines with a beer in hand,” he said.