SOUTHERN KNIGHTS head coach Rob Chrystie has named academy prospect Jacob Henry at full-back for his team’s final match of the regular Super6 season at home against Stirling County tonight. Elsewhere in the side, loose-head prop Grant Shiells returns to the starting XV as captain and Daniel Suddon is back in the second-row.
The Borderers have already booked their place in Super6’s 1st/2nd place play-off at Edinburgh’s DAM Health Stadium next Sunday, but would love to jump back ahead of Ayrshire Bulls to finish the regular part of the season at the summit of the league table.
“This weekend’s game will be our last home game of the season and it is shaping up to be a busy night at the Greenyards with hospitality almost full,” said Chrystie. “Stirling County have been involved in some hugely exciting games this year and are playing an exciting brand of rugby, so we should be in for a cracking game.”
Meanwhile, Ben Cairns has rotated the County backline as they look to pick up a win which would secure a third-place finish in the league and mean the Bridgehaugh have beaten every team in the competition over the course of the campaign. Marcus Holden, who impressed off the bench on his return from injury last week, starts at 15, with Craig Robertson moving the other way. Craig Jardine gets the nod at 12 and Grant Hughes mover to scrum-half.
JP Phelan, having recovered from illness, Byron Bowes, fresh from winning Varisty Match with St Andrews University, and Callum Cruickshank, who has recovered from injury, will all look to make an impact off the bench.
“Three wins from our last three games puts us in a great position to fight for that home 3rd/4th play-off spot,” said Cairns. “Knights are also the only side we haven’t beaten this season, having drawn in round one, so there is a lot to play for at the Greenyards this weekend.
“The Southern Knights have probably been the most consistent performers in the league this season and deserve their spot in the final. Rob and his coaching team have set them up very well, they are a difficult side to break down and create a lot of scoring opportunities.
“Although already qualified for the final, I am sure they will want to finish the regular season on a high, particularly since it will be their last home match this year, so we are under no illusions how difficult a challenge it will be but we are looking forward to it.”
Heriot’s host Boroughmuir Bears on Saturday afternoon, with the right to host the 5th/6th place play-off up for grabs, while fourth placed host top Watsonians the table Bulls on Sunday.
Southern Knights (v Stirling County at The Greenyards on Friday 8th October @ 7.30pm): J Henry; S Pecqueur, N Godsmark, B Wara, I Sim; J Baggott, M McAndrew; G Shiells©, F Renwick, C Crookshanks, D Suddon, A Runciman, R Knott, A Ferrie, H Borthwick. Substitutes: R Anderson, S Gunn, E McLaren, D Redpath, A Mitchell, C Jones, P Anderson, K Clark.
Stirling County: M Holden; S Hamilton, A Russell, C Jardine, T Roche; E Cunningham G Hughes; A Wood, R Kennedy©, L Skinner, J Pow, M Williamson, G Arnott, C Gordon, D Taylor-Menzies. Substitutes: A Fraser, G Breese, J Phelen, B Bowes, C Crookshank, C Korteweg, A Goudie, C Robertson.