BT Premiership PREVIEW | Green Machine aim to extend purple patch

Hawick and Boroughmuir meet this Saturday (27 January, kick-off 3pm) in a game that will set the tone for their end of season prospects.

Having gone through the first half of the BT Premiership season without a win to their name, Hawick are now in the midst of a four-game winning run and another victory could see them as much as 10 points clear of the bottom of the table.

Boroughmuir were denied an opening game win against defending champions, Ayr, by a last-minute drop goal but were unable to take any momentum from that performance and struggled for form before breaking their duck in round five.

As it stands, both teams have at least a game in hand on relegation rivals Marr and would take great heart from another win as we approach the season run-in.

Head Coach of Hawick, George Graham, is well aware of the significance of this match-up and the importance of putting in a strong perfromance.

Graham said: “A huge game for both clubs sees them both enjoying a bit of success in recent weeks with Boroughmuir earning a good win away to Marr last time out.

"We have enjoyed some good form in the last few outings but are only too aware of what Boroughmuir are capable of after being heavily beaten at Meggetland earlier in the season.

The players and staff have been working extremely hard in preparation for this match and know only too well that we have to play with the highest intensity and physicality to further increase our chances of success.”

The Green Machine make a couple of changes this week as Guy Graham is called up to Scotland U20 and is replaced by Edinburgh Rugby’s John Hardie who starts at seven.

Kevin Bryce and Darcy Graham are released by Edinburgh rugby and take places on the bench and in the starting line-up respectively.

Head Coach of Boroughmuir, Peter Wright, said: “Our players know how tough this is going to be with Hawick on a great run and playing at home.

“We have trained pretty well this week with us having an extra session on Monday but you don’t play the game on the training field.”

In the Boroughmuir pack, Tom Gracie comes in for the unavailable Richards and Matt Walker comes in for Dan Marek.

Rob Ure comes onto the bench for what could be his first team debut.

Elsewhere, bottom place Marr host Melrose as they aim to keep the pressure on Hawick and Boroughmuir and avoid the drop.

Heriot’s welcome Ayr to Goldenacre as the home team look to push their way back into the play-off spots following a derby day defeat to Watsonians.

Dwon the road in Edinburgh Watsonians play Glasgow Hawks and Currie Cheiftains will be eager to reclaim second spot when they travel to Stirling County.

Hawick v Boroughmuir will be live-tweeted from @Scotlandteam.

Clubs from across BT National Leagues 1, 2 and 3 will also continue their season on Saturday. For a full list of fixtures, visit scottishrugby.org.

Hawick v Boroughmuir, Mansfield Park, 3pm

Hawick: Darcy Graham; Ross Combe, Keith Davies, Dom Buckley, Gary Munro; Lee Armstrong, Greig Cotterill; Shawn Muir, Matty Carryer, Nicki Little, Dalton Redpath, Craig Hamilton, Stuart Graham, John Hardie, Bruce McNeil CAPTAIN

Replacements: Fraser Renwick, Kevin Bryce, Andrew Baillie, Ross Gibson, Ali Weir

Boroughmuir: Ciaran Whyte; Michael Brown, Ronan Kerr, Greg Cannie, Jordan Edmunds; Chris Laidlaw, Johnny Adams; Dale Robertson, Jonny Matthews, Tom Gracie, Jamie Ure, Fin Field, Aubrey Mcube, Matt Walker, Craig Keddie

Replacements: Alan Nethery,Ryan Montgomery,Rob Ure,Euan McKirdy,Mark Hare

Saturday 27 January

Marr v Melrose, Fullarton Park, 2pm

Heriot’s v Ayr, Goldenacre, 2pm

Watsonians v Glasgow Hawks, 3pm

Stirling County v Currie Chieftains, Bridgehaugh, 3pm