Boroughmuir rugby coach Bruce Aitchison has backed former Irish age-group cap Mike Entwhistle to take captaincy in his stride.
He stands in for injured Zimbabwean internationalist Andy Rose in a key BT Premiership clash at Glasgow Hawks tomorrow.
’Muir have, in fact, been dealt a double blow ahead of a match which could see them leapfrog two places and out of the relegation play-off slot with Edinburgh stand-off Carl Bezuidenhout also a late withdrawal.
But Aitchison knows the release of pro players can never be guaranteed and, in any case, Chris Laidlaw is an highly capable deputy.
Rose’s calf injury has failed to respond to treatment but Aitchison said: “Mike is a very similar type to Andy and there are plenty of leaders around him. Ian Moody is reaping the benefits of having played for a winning Scottish clubs team in the back row while scrum-half Jonny Adams is growing into his role.”
Hawks recall experience wing Tom Steven while Mateusz Bartoszek is on the bench. He was awarded the Polish Player of the Year prize at a ceremony in Warsaw last weekend.
Only a victory with a bonus point for a try is liable to give Edinburgh Accies a chance of avoiding the drop at Hawick and even then they would require others to slip up.
Coach Phil Leck, grateful to be able to include Callum Reid and Tom Drennan for the first time in a year after injury, pulls no punches.
He says: “I can’t put any frills on this game. Nothing but a win is good enough.”
Hawick have Edinburgh professional centre Joaquin Dominguez on the bench.
Currie head for Stirling County and a match vital to both sides’ hopes of finishing in the top four and the play-offs, but they are without Richard Snedden, Harvey Elms and Robbie Nairn. Making a seasonal debut at scrum-half is Matt O’Neil. Merchiston Castle schoolboy Cameron Gray is on the bench.
Heriot’s visit Ayr with Jack Turley and Rory Carmichael dropping out and replaced by Danny Levison and Josh Laird. Jason Hill is also back after spending last week with Glasgow Warriors.