Friday, 8 December 2017
Melrose v Ayr preview
The home team are flying high at the top of the league, with the visitors in second place. It's going to be a tough test for the men from Millbrae but they and their travelling fans will no doubt be buoyed by memories of the last trip to the Greenyards when Ayr claimed the BT Premiership title in a tense final in April.
Last Saturday's win against Glasgow Hawks - as well as a good week in training - will also give Ayr confidence.
"Against Hawks, we played the best 60 minutes of rugby that we have put together this season," says Ayr head coach Calum Forrester. "We cannot afford to switch off in the last 20 minutes this week against a very dangerous Melrose side, who have been outstanding in the BT Premiership this season. The players are looking forward to the challenge in what will be a bruising encounter."
In the squad, Scott Lyle reverts to fly-half, with Sam Graham starting on the wing. Paddy Dewhirst links up with Stafford McDowall in the centre in the absence of the injured Danny McCluskey. Scott Sutherland joins the bench.
15. Grant Anderson, 14. Sam Graham, 13. Paddy Dewhirst, 12. Stafford McDowall, 11. Craig Gossman; 10. Scott Lyle, 9. Lewis Young; 1. Robin Hislop, 2. Robbie Smith, 3. Steven Longwell; 4. Blair Macpherson, 5. Robert McAlpine; 6. Tommy Spinks, 7. George Stokes, 8. Pete McCallum (c).
16. Lewis Anderson, 17. Ruairidh Sayce, 18. Scott Sutherland, 19. Jonathan Agnew, 20. Jamie Bova.
Kick-off 2pm! Follow the scores live on Twitter.
Melrose Storm play Ayr 2nd XV at 2pm in BT National Reserve 1.
After last week's match was postponed due to a frozen pitch, Ayr are keen to get back to action, and field a strong team against the league leaders, with former Scotland U18s captain Euan McLaren again hoping to make his debut for his new club.
Ayr 2nd XV
15. Ross Gilmour, 14. Zac Howard, 13. Gregor Henry, 12. James Pinkerton, 11. Finn Bark; 10. Matt Davidson, 9. Harry Warr; 1. Ben Paterson, 2. Stuart Collier, 3. Euan McLaren; 4. Alan Miller, 5. Michael Badenhorst; 6. Craig Brown, 7. Seth Rae, 8. Cameron Reece.
16. Adam Prentice, 17. Fraser Miller, 18. Adam Paxton, 19. Logan Richardson, 20. Zander Howie.
Kick-off 2pm! You can follow the game via the Ultimate Rugby app.