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Marr Rugby - senior squad selections for 30 September 2017

1 year ago By Kevin Quinn

Marr Rugby - senior squad selections

Marr Rugby - senior squad selections for 30 September 2017

BT Premiership: Boroughmuir RFC v Marr Rugby
BT National Reserve: Marr Rugby v Hawick RFC
BT West Reserve League 2: Dalziel RFC v Marr Rugby

It’s another bumper Saturday of Marr Rugby action as over 60 senior players turn out wearing “purple, green and gold”. This week there is further movement across all three squads to help cover injury and unavailability. One of the club’s targets is to increase the strength and depth of the playing squad at senior level with a focus on the 1st and 2nd XVs. We know the physical demands at this level are extreme and skill levels need to be at or near their peak…every week.

We’ve a way to go but we are seeing that the competition for places is healthy and drives up performance. It also means the 1s and 2s are stronger as the player pool increases. The added benefit from this work is that, so far, our goal of having a consistently strong 2nd XV is looking promising. This week’s 2s selection includes five players who each have over 100 1st XV caps – Fraser ‘Rhino’ Ferguson, Kris Kirk, Rory McGee, Gregor Ness and Kyle Vallance.

Marr Rugby’s 3s head to Lanarkshire to play Dalziel knowing that they are in for a very physical challenge from the home side and support.

Meanwhile, the ‘home’ match sees a top of the table clash as current leaders Hawick Force visit Fullarton. Hawick have been scoring points for fun and will arrive in confident mode after last week’s 78 point away win against Stewart’s Melville.

The third and final fixture sees the 1s travel to Meggetland for an important match against Boroughmuir. The home side haven’t got off to a good start to the season and will be targeting Marr as the opportunity to kick start winning ways for their campaign. Marr’s players and coaches expect every match to be tough but this one will be especially so. For most teams in the Premiership getting an away result at Meggetland is a rare event – last season’s Champions (Ayr RFC ) managed to scrape a 28-30 win in the opening match of this season, with a last minute drop goal to snatch the victory.

Marr Rugby 1st XV preview: For this critical fixture Boroughmuir’s head coach Peter Wright has rung the changes with a clear out of the pack and introducing five changes to the forwards. This includes a number of Scotland U20’s as well as some really experienced ‘bears’. In the backs the danger men include Edinburgh winger, Damien Hoyland.

From Marr’s perspective the starting line-up is likely to be subject to last minute change as the listing below is version 3. Captain Angus Johnston had previously been included but, unfortunately, after re-assessment of his recovery from injury has been prescribed a further week of rest. This means vice-captain Conor Bickerstaff (sponsored by CCL Logistics) once again takes control of the bridge.

Marr’s squad is augmented by the photon torpedoes that are James Malcolm and Greg Peterson. It also sees the inclusion on the bench of BT Premiership debutants Fraser Grant (sponsored by Project Panel Solutions) and Neil Wallace (sponsored by Aspire Beauty) (pictured). Four years ago Neil was regularly playing 3rd XV rugby for Marr.

With Ross Miller unavailable, Kyle Hatherall returns to the back row where he is joined by Ross Jackson who will make his first start of the season. Ross is one of the two BT Academy players ‘placed’ with Marr Rugby to help support their development and pathway into representative rugby. His commitment is immense – he lives in Biggar, where he learned his trade in rugby, and travels daily to the Academy at Cumbernauld or sessions at Scotstoun and then rocks up at Fullarton for training. If you get the chance please seek him out after the match and acknowledge his effort and commitment and willingness to be part of Marr Rugby.

On Saturday, Marr take another step into the unknown in this fifth round of the season as they once again encounter opponents who they haven’t previously played. They do though have the benefit of some inside knowledge – courtesy of Dougie Steele who spent a couple of seasons playing in green and blue before this season returning to Fullarton and Marr Rugby colours.

It’s another big game for Marr as the players, coaches and supports continue to experience life in the BT Premiership.

Marr Rugby 1st XV team selection
15. Craig Kolarik
14. Toby Buchanan
13. Conor Bickerstaff ©
12. Colin Sturgeon
11. Richard Dalgleish
10. Dougie Steele
9. Kaleem Baretto
1. Greg Jackson
2. James Malcolm
3. William Farquhar
4. Greg Peterson
5. Ewan Bulger
6. Mackenzie Pearce
8. Kyle Hatherell
7. Ross Jackson

16. Stephen Adair
17. Neil Wallace
18. Fraser Grant
19. Max Freydell
20. Gregor Paxton

Marr Rugby 2nd XV preview: The 2s welcome league leaders Hawick Force in what will be a clash of the Titans. So far this season both sides have been delivering great performances, playing fast and open rugby achieving very impressive results. Hawick will be in confident mood as they arrive off the back of a 0- 78 win in their last way fixture. Just like Marr they have a strong set of forwards capable of providing the perfect attacking platform for a lively set of backs.

Coach Keith Dunsmuir has been working with his squad to make sure that defensively they are as tight as possible to try to keep the Green Machine in check.

With Neil Wallace and Fraser Grant promoted into the 1s squad and other regular 2s players unavailable the squad sees a number of changes in names and positions. Captain Josh Evans returns after his extended holiday break and having returned from work overseas Rory McGee starts at fullback. Also making his first start of the season is Kris Kirk.
The work to help improve the strength and depth of the senior playing squad

Marr Rugby 2nd XV team selection:
15. Rory McGee
14. Stuart Howie
13. Ali Walker
12. Andrew Mill
11. Murray Beckwith
10. Chris Galloway
9. Gregor Ness
1. Fraser Ferguson
2. Ollie Rossi
3. Mark Allison
4. Callum Craig
5. Kris Kirk
6. Danny Clark
8. Josh Evan ©
7. Kyle Vallance

16. Richie McNicol
17. Michael Quinn
18. Callum Steel
19. Ry McInnes
20. Jack Scott
21. Ali Hazel
22. Mac McInnes

Marr Rugby 3rd XV preview: Marr 3s aim is to get their first away win from their visit to Dalziel. This is easier said than done as the home side will be energised by the fact that they want to break away from the anchor position in the league. With player movement across all three squads and the likelihood of last minutes changes a couple of positions below are still shown as to be confirmed (TBC).

In the positions that are confirmed a number of players make timely and welcome returns. Paul Bray has recovered from injury to take a berth in the front row, while Chris Myers adds his experience and bulk to the second row where his partner school leaver Euan McGerty will benefit from playing alongside this Colossus.

Young flyer Tomas Watkins moves from wing to cover fullback and Andrew Orr is switched from the back to the back three alongside Thomas and evergreen Stephen Beveridge.

Marr Rugby 3rd XV Team selection:
1. Paul Bray
2. Neil Campion
3. Sean Duff
4. Euan McGerty
5. Chris Myers
6. TBC
7. Alistair Barclay
8. Jason Doolan
9. TBC
10. Andrew Mathieson (c)
11. Stephen Beveridge
12. Jonathan Connell
13. Andrew Dunlop
14. Andrew Orr
15. Thomas Watkins

16. Fraser McPherson
17. Will Murray
18. Chris Helton
19. TBC
20. TBC

Updated 09:37 - 1 Oct 2017 by Kevin Quinn


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