Edinburgh Accies coach shrugs off loss of pros as they prepare to face Boroughmuir

Edinburgh's Murray McCallum is available to play for Accies
Edinburgh's Murray McCallum is available to play for Accies
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Edinburgh Accies coach Derek O’Riordan has shrugged off the unavailability of the club’s drafted professionals for tomorrow’s rearranged Tennent’s Premiership fixture against Boroughmuir.

Accies were set to benefit from the release of four Edinburgh men, most notably international props Rory Sutherland and Murray McCallum for the match on December 15. However, of that quartet, only McCallum is released for tomorrow’s meeting of the sides at Lasswade (3pm) – Meggetland is being used for football.

However, O’Riordan is focusing on the positive effects of the postponement, saying: “We gave players an extended break to refresh physically and mentally and we will be going into the weekend with a renewed focus on ourselves and getting our bits of detail right.”

Among the changes in the Muir squad is the return of Chris Laidlaw who starts on the bench and is set to make his first appearance since sustaining an injury in the opening day defeat against Currie Chieftains.

Coach Peter Wright acknowledges that the chances of a top four finish are slim, but he is targeting a winning finale to the campaign. “We now move into the business end of the season with four straight games that will decide the shape of the league.”

Meanwhile, Chieftains head West to face Glasgow Hawks knowing that a win will lift them back into the play-off spots. This will be the first game under the new coaching regime, with Ben Cairns having now officially taken on the head coach role at the Stirling Super 6 franchise.

Although he will continue to have an input into the Chieftains set up until the end of the season, responsibility will pass, until the end of the campaign at least, to his brother Mark – another highly-skilled tactician – who will be assisted by Andy Binikos.

The first test for the new set up comes at Balgray where Cairns is desperate to make a winning start to his tenure. The Chieftains challenge is boosted by the availability of professionals Thomas Gordon and Tevita Tameilau.

“It was disappointing not to get this match played before the Christmas break however the boys have trained well through this period and we will look to hit the ground running in what is a pivotal month for our league campaign,” he said.

“Matches between these two sides are usually pretty open affairs and with the weather forecast looking favourable, this weekend’s proceedings may well follow suit.”