BT Premiership PREVIEW | Watsonians host Hawick in key clash

Watsonians face Hawick at home in Edinburgh today (3 Feburary, kick-off 1pm) as they look to take third place in the BT Premiership table.

Going into the game with a great result last weekend against Glasgow Hawks, winning 36-0 at home, Watsonians are on a high but the Green Machine, on a run of their own will be eager to halt their momentum.

The Borders outfit hope to build on their win at home last weekend against Boroughmuir, winning 27-20, ensuring they stay ahead at the fight at the bottom of the table.

Hawick have made a number of changes this week with Kyle Brunton, Chris Ritson and Lewis Ferguson all come in to the starting line up at 15, 13 and 11 respectively, replacing the unavailable Ali Weir, Lee Armstrong and Greig Cotterill.

In the forwards Ruaridh Macleod starts at tighthead prop after some good performances. Ross Gibson and Andrew Baillie start at 6 and 7 replacing the unavailable Stuart Graham and Guy Graham.

For Watsonians, Nick Fraser, Nathan Borel and Rory Drummond make a return to the starting team with Finn Hobbis and James Miller moving to the bench. Martin Christie, Jonny Gibson, Ewan Miller drop out and Ruairidh Wilson comes onto the bench following his switch from Gordon in Australia.

The men from Myreside are now looking to extend a bit of breathing space from city rivals Heriot’s in the league table and secure a play-off place.

Watsonians Head Coach, Steve Lawrie, said: “It was a bit of a turgid affair last week with a strong wind playing its part in an error strewn game. However, we showed glimpses of what we are capable of and we will look to build on these areas moving forward.

Hawick are in fine form and have shown a lot of grit in recent weeks. Their pack is functioning very well and they have a well organised defence that pressures teams into mistakes. We look forward to welcoming them for what should be a cracking match.”

Hawick Head Coach, George Graham, knows his team has a tough challenge ahead, as Watsonians have been clinical in execution and sharp on the attack over recent weeks.

Graham said: “We have been playing with a higher degree of confidence lately and have enjoyed some success with it. However, Watsonians have also been playing well and played themselves into a top four position, so we know how big of a challenge this match will be.

The Hawick coach knows they have to bring it against Watsonians hoping to gain momentum from their good start to the year.

Graham added: “The coaching and playing staff have been working extremely hard to improve in some areas of our game and we know we will need to bring a higher degree of accuracy and physicality into our game if we want to have any chance of success.”

Elsewhere, the rescheduled games from a fortnight ago continue with Boroughmuir facing Stirling County at home with a 12.30pm kick-off, Marr play Melrose at 2.30pm and the Currie Chieftans travel to Glasgow to face Hawks at 3pm.

Watsonians v Hawick, Myreside, 1pm

Watsonians: Nick Fraser; Ross Graham, Nathan Borel, Euan Dods, Craig Borthwick CAPTAIN; Rory Drummond, Gregor Nelson; Michael Fedo, Rory Steele, Mark Bertram, Michael Allen, DJ Innes, Jason Harries, Andrew Chalmers, Ali Harris

Replacements: Darren Miller, Finn Hobbis, Ruairidh Wilson, James Miller, Willie Thompson

Hawick: Kyle Brunton; Ross Combe, Chris Ritson, Dom Buckley, Lewis Ferguson; Gary Munro, Gareth Welsh; Shawn Muir, Matty Carryer, Ruaridhi Macleod, Dalton Redpath, Craig Hamilton, Ross Gibson, Andrew Baillie, Bruce McNeil CAPTAIN

Replacements: Fraser Renwick, Matt Landels, David Cowan, Ronan McKean, Andrew Mitchell

BT Premiership – Saturday 3 February

Watsonians v Hawick, 1pm

Boroughmuir v Stirling County, 12.30pm

Marr v Melrose, 2.30pm

Glasgow Hawks v Currie Cheiftans, 3pm