HERIOT’S coach Phil Smith has rewarded drop-goal hero Gregor McNeish with the No.10 jersey for tomorrow’s BT Cup final against Melrose at the national stadium (kick-off 5.45pm).
McNeish came off the bench a week past Saturday and notched two brilliant goals, the second a last-gasp matchwinner, in the BT Premiership semi-final against Currie at Malleny Park.
That kept the Goldenacre side on course for a double, the first part of which could be secured tomorrow if they can topple Melrose. Heriot’s then travel to Millbrae next Saturday to face Ayr in the BT Premiership final.
Hooker Neil Cochrane is released by Edinburgh to take a place on the bench, while Liam Steele returns from injury to take the No.13 jersey.
“All cup finals are special, the fact that it is the first of two back-to-back ones for the club is bringing some extra excitement to the squad,” said Smith.
“Training has been of a high quality and I sense the boys simply cannot wait for the 5.45pm kick-off.
“Melrose will bring a lot to the party and we know that if we don’t cope with their areas of strength we will have a tough afternoon.
“At the same time if we can get our rhythm going quickly we can pose our own problems on Melrose. In short, if both teams get up and running quickly there should be a cracking game on show.”
Melrose coach John Dalziel has restored fit-again Jason Baggott to the stand-off position in his final line-up.
Tom Galbraith moves to inside centre and partners George Taylor, with Nyle Godsmark back on the wing and Fraser Thomson at full-back.
Up front George Turner and Ally Miller come in at hooker and No.8 respectively and Dalziel said: “Both teams are set up to play and Heriot’s are a well prepared side with experienced players who like us are no strangers to the big occasion.”
Heriot’s: J Semple; C Simpson, L Steele, C Ferguson, J Rae; G McNeish, T Wilson; M McCallum, M Liness, S Cessford, R Nimmo, J Turley (c), S Dewar, I Wilson, J Hill. Subs: N Cochrane, M Bouab , R Van Heerden , J Syme, A Henderson, A Simmers, M Learmonth.
Melrose: F Thomson; N Godsmark, G Taylor, T Galbraith, S Pecquer; J Baggott, B Colvine (c);J Bhatti, G Turner, N Beavon, G Dodds, L Carmichael, N Irvine-Hess, G Runciman, A Miller. Subs: R Ferguson, R McLeod, R Knott, J Head, M McAndrew, A Nagel, J Helps, J Head.