John Hardie set for a new start with Hawick

John Hardie
John Hardie
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Edinburgh flanker John Hardie will return to action tomorrow when he lines up for a resurgent Hawick side looking to extend a four-match winning run in the BT Premiership and dent the play-off aspirations of in-form Watsonians.

Hardie has just completed a three-month club suspension for gross misconduct and will be striving to prove his fitness to Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill in the Myreside encounter (kick-off 3pm).

For Sonians, Jamie Hodgson returns in the second row, allowing Euan Dods to resume his more familiar back-row berth, while Rory Steele steps up from the bench to replace Mark Bertram on the wing.

“On reflection, our set-piece and some of our accuracy in attack need to be improved and we have had a focus on these areas at training this week,” explained Sonians coach Steve Lawrie, whose high standards have been key to his team’s recent run.

Meanwhile, Heriot’s hooker Michael Liness has been cleared to play against Boroughmuir at Meggetland after the red card he was shown against Sonians last week was rescinded.

It was the second time this season that Liness had been wrongly dismissed. Heriot’s go into the encounter desperate to bounce back from last Saturday’s derby drubbing when they face hosts whose victory over fellow strugglers Marr moved them away from the foot of the table.

“With a great win last weekend, Boroughmuir will be brimming with confidence, which means we will have to be alert and get back to doing our basics as well as we know we can,” said Heriot’s coach Phil Smith.

In the home ranks, Jamie Ure, the 20-year-old BT Edinburgh Academy lock, had a successful return from injury in last week’s win and starts alongside Fin Field, who features in place of Archie Erskine.

Currie Chieftains are in buoyant mood as they head west to face Glasgow Hawks looking to extend a run of three impressive wins. With Charlie Shiel on duty with Edinburgh, Jamie Forbes starts at scrum-half where he links up with Adam Hastings who impressed in the win over Melrose.

“The players have taken a lot of confidence from last week’s result having produced their best overall performance to date,” said coach Ben Cairns. “The challenge now is to replicate this level of performance away from home against a Hawks side who will be desperate to get back to winning ways.”