Rugby: Cairns happy to add pros to Currie mix

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Currie captain Mark Cairns has welcomed the possible introduction of professional players on loan from Edinburgh and Glasgow when his side open their British and Irish Cup campaign at Leeds on Sunday.

While the decision to “attach” pros to the three B & I contenders – Melrose and Ayr are also in action this weekend – has attracted controversy due to regulars being required to stand down, Cairns says: “We have been quite fortunate with pro players who have represented us and are hoping to have three or four this weekend.”

While options are restricted due to the Heineken European Cup which also starts this weekend the likes of scrum half Chris Leck has appeared for Currie in the Premiership this season while the B & I Cup could eventually be an ideal proving ground for Cairns’ internationalist brother, Ben, when he returns from long-term injury.

Mark adds: “You have got to use pro guys if you have them because of their experience. We have always been really happy with them when they have come into the club.

“We all know each other because there is lot of interaction with the pro teams. We get on well. They fit in fine. They are used to different calls but it’s basically the same movements so they get to grips with everything well.”

With clubs’ internationalist Richard Snedden still injured a big call will have to be made at scrum half especially if Leck is unavailable.

Last weekend saw Johnny Bruton (ex-Dunfermline) debut in a runaway win at Edinburgh Accies and Cairns said: “Johnny Bruton might end up going from playing second-team rugby to facing Leeds at Headingley but I’m sure he’d take things in his stride.”

Cairns believes last year’s experience will stand Currie in good stead. “It’s not quite the journey into the unknown and last year we went into games being reactive,” he said.

“We would look and see how good they were and react. By the end of the match we were thinking if we had just started in the same vein we would have had a really good chance.”