A TOTAL of 14 Borders rugby players have been included in Phil Leck’s Club International squad ahead of the forthcoming games against France and Ireland.
Six players from Gala, six from Melrose, one from Hawick and an ex-Langholm player, Robin Hislop – now with Boroughmuir – will join 34 players from Scottish Rugby’s top division, with Ayr (7) and Gala, first and second in the RBS Premier Division respectively, boasting the highest number of players, along with Melrose, who lie in fourth.
The team will play their Irish counterparts at home (Millbrae) on March 8 and France away, on March 15, in their search to win the clean sweep of both games for the first time.
Last season, the side beat France 25-18 at home before just missing out to Ireland 21-26 at the Old Belvedere in Dublin.
Speaking at the squad announcement, Leck said: “I have watched as many Premiership matches as I can on video and the nominations from the clubs have been very positive. Coaches across the board have been honest and offered encouraging feedback about all the players we have been looking at.”
Hawick coach Leck will work with an extended outfit before choosing the final squad.
He added: “These matches are a massive honour for the lads and we hope a good crowd will get behind us at Millbrae for our game against Ireland. This squad plays an important part in players’ development and has had success in the past, so I hope we can continue building on that.
“I’m really excited about the challenge ahead, as coaching an international team is a massive honour.
“Assistant coach Graeme Young and team manager David Edge have been a big help, so far, with their knowledge and experience.”
The Scotland Club International squad for 2013 is as follows: BACKS: Callum Anderson (Melrose/Aberdeen Grammar), Ross Curle (Ayr), Jamie Forbes (Currie), Stuart Edwards (Stirling County), Danny Gilmour (Stirling County), Craig Gossman (Ayr), George Graham (Gala), Rory Hutton (Hawick), Dean Kelbrick (Ayr), Max Learmonth (Heriot’s), Murray McConnell (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors EDP), Lee Millar (Gala), Craig Robertson (Gala), Rory Steele (Watsonians), Fraser Thomson (Melrose/Glasgow Warriors EDP). FORWARDS: Alex Allan (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby EDP), Fraser Brown (Heriot’s), Kevin Bryce (Heriot’s), Mark Cairns (Currie), Greg Campbell (Edinburgh Accies), Nick Cox (Ayr), Gary Graham (Gala), Jason Hill (Heriot’s), Robin Hislop (Boroughmuir/Edinburgh Rugby EDP), Gary Holborn (Melrose), George Hunter (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors EDP), Ewan McQuillin (Gala), Ross Miller (Melrose), Andrew Nagle (Melrose), Luke Pettie (Gala), Andrew Redmayne (Dundee HSFP), Grant Runciman (Melrose), Scott Sutherland (Ayr), Jamie Swanson (Boroughmuir), Dan Teague (Edinburgh Accies) and Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby EDP).