BT Premiership PREVIEW | Watsonians and Ayr in shoot-out for third

Watsonians welcome Ayr to Myreside today (Saturday 11 March, kick-off 3.30pm) as the teams prepare to battle it out for third place in the final BT Premiership standings.

The match was rescheduled due to the adverse weather last week and will determine where the teams travel to in the 2018 BT Premiership semi-finals versus Melrose and Currie Chieftains.

Watsonians currently sit third in the table after bouncing back from a slow start to their season to win their every match in 2018 and will be looking to hold off the challenge of reigning champions Ayr who have struggled with consistency at times this season.

Watsonians Head Coach Steve Lawrie, knows the match will set the tone going into the knock-out matches.

Lawrie said: “This is a massive match this weekend at Myreside in which the winner will claim third spot.

Ayr have a massive pack with a backline capable of scoring from anywhere.

"They have a whole host of club international experience throughout their team so we will need to be at our very best in order to get the performance we require.”

The Edinburgh club make several changes from their win against Boroughmuir last month with Sean Crombie and Kyle Whyte making a return to the starting team. James Miller gets the nod as Rory Drummond is unavailable and Andrew O’Neill replaces Kieran Watt who is away on U18 national duty. Rory Steele returns to the back three with Mark Bertram on the bench.

The west coast side will be well aware of the difficult task facing them at Myreside as both teams target a successful end-of-season.

Ayr Head Coach Calum Forrester said: “Following Currie’s win last weekend, tomorrow is a straight shoot out with Watsonians for who finishes in third place.

It is hugely important to get a win for both sides to gain some momentum to take into the play-offs.”

George Stokes and Blair MacPherson come into the starting side for Ayr in the back row for the injured Tommy Spinks and Pete McCallum. In the backs, Jamie Bova starts on the wing for Matt Davidson who is travelling with Scotland U20 after some impressive recent performances with the team.

Elsewhere, league leaders Melrose take on Stirling County in a game that has a lot of significance for the bottom few teams.

In Friday's game, a late fightback from Boroughmuir was not enough to overturn Heriot’s but, thanks to a losing bonus point they are now out of sight of the automatic relegation spot and sit top of the teams looking to avoid a play-off.

Watsonians v Ayr, Myreside, 3.30pm

Watsonians: Andrew Chalmers; Rory Steele, Michael Allen, DJ Innes, Ewan Miller; Rory Hutton, Ali Harris; Nick Fraser, Sean Crombie, Kyle Whyte, Euan Dods, Craig Borthwick CAPTAIN, James Miller, Gregor Nelson, Michael Fedo

Replacements: Darren Miller, Nathan Borel, Andrew O’Neill, Willie Thompson, Mark Bertram

Ayr: Grant Anderson CAPTAIN; Jamie Bova, James Armstrong, Frazier Climo, Craig Gossman; Scott Lyle, David Armstrong; Robin Hislop, Lewis Anderson, Steven Longwell, Jonathan Agnew, Rob McAlpine, George Hunter, George Stokes, Blair MacPherson

Replacements: Stuart Collier, Michael Badenhorst, Cameron Reece, Harry Warr, James Pinkerton

BT Premiership

Friday 9 March

Boroughmuir 31 - 33 Heriot’s

Saturday 10 March

Melrose v Stirling County, The Greenyards, 12.30pm