Graham Wilson goes into action for Heriot’s at home to Edinburgh Accies in the BT rugby Premiership tomorrow just a try away from another milestone in what is already a landmark season.
Scrum-half Wilson stands on 1195 points for the club he joined straight from Dollar Academy and if things are going well on the personal front, then success is proving infectious throughout the Heriot’s club.
Not only did the first team hit the top with an away win at Stirling County last weekend, but the seconds are leading the National Reserve League and the thirds have a perfect ten out of ten in the East Reserve League Division Two.
Wilson, who earlier this season made a debut for the Barbarians Select side in a win over Combined Services and who is in line for a first Scottish clubs’ international cap four years after being an unused substitute against Ireland, said: “Four or five years ago we were fortunate to get between 15-20 players at some training sessions. Today it’s common to have between 60-70 training and all guided by quality coaches.”
It is the firsts who are the showcase for the club and recognition by the Barbarians is not easily obtained.
“I was particularly delighted to get a call as my late grandfather, Ken Wilson, as well as gaining a cap for Scotland played for the Barbarians.
“The fact I share that with him is a matter of family pride and if I can go a step further and get on the pitch for the clubs’ XV – last time the match was tight and there wasn’t an opportunity to empty the bench – then that would be tremendous.”
First, though, comes the clash with Accies and although the length of the league separates the sides, Wilson has good reason to be wary.
He said: “We just edged Accies out 28-26 earlier this season and we will need to go on proving we can adapt to any conditions, which is another secret of what success we have had so far.
“The current Heriot’s pack is as good as any I’ve played behind and the backs can also throw the ball about well.”
If opportunities come then Wilson will take kicking opportunities in his stride, although he does not expect points to flow as they did on his first outing for Heriot’s.
“It was a memorable win over Gala when we put 70 points on them and our two professional centres, Rob Dewey and Nick De Luca, who played for Scotland, ran riot, leaving me to kick eight conversions!”
Tomorrow Keith Buchan makes a welcome return from injury to the back-line where Stuart Edwards is out after undergoing an appendix operation following the win at Stirling. Gavin Cameron is promoted at prop.
Accies coach Phil Leck raises the stakes, albeit in electronic communication, saying: “After reading an email from the Heriots president, it appears that Heriot’s don’t have a deal of respect for us and apparently we are in for a festive “stuffing”. I’m sure, however, we will give a good account of ourselves.”
Accies welcome back prop Alex Allan for the first time since he was capped by Scotland out of Glasgow during the summer.
It’s derby day at Malleny Park where hosts Currie await Boroughmuir with half-backs Richard Snedden and Joe Reynolds back from injury. Also, Peter Murchie and Mike Cusack have been released by Glasgow to play.
Currie lost at Accies last week and coach Ben Cairns says: “Boroughmuir will be targeting this game, However, we have only lost once at home this season and are determined to put in another fully committed performance.”
Boroughmuir give a first start of the season to Craig Marshall at centre, while the only change to the pack has Trent Sutton reinstated at second row.