THERE are many local rugby fans who are already tipping Darren Clapperton to follow in the footsteps of former team-mate Lee Jones into professional and international rugby, and for good reason.
The young winger has touched down 10 times this season in Selkirk colours and is six ahead of his nearest rivals, Rory Banks and Ryan Crockatt, who have scored four each. The margin of his lead is impressive, although the modest lad is likely to play it all down and say something along the lines of “I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.”
Coach Brian Cassidy thinks Darren is one of the fastest rugby players in the Borders and that speed has definitely served him well this season, along with his rugby brain which is developing at a fair rate.
His elusiveness in attack and his ability to pop up anywhere has caused his opponents all kinds of problems, and if a South of Scotland team was to be picked right now he would probably be a first-choice starter.
Angus Duckett and Matt Kissick are new to Selkirk this season and have already made their mark with three tries apiece, a total they share with Fraser Harkness, who ended a try drought at Netherdale a couple of weeks ago with one of the best scores this season.
He did manage five pre-season tries but that score against Gala will surely lift his spirits for the rest of the season and I predict many more to come.
Talking of this season, Selkirk are fifth in the table with a game in hand, and with eight matches to play, why on earth do I keep hearing that they have little chance of promotion? That doesn’t make sense to me at all. A lot can happen in eight matches and Selkirk are very much in the mix with Hawick, Glasgow Hawks and Watsonians.
Yes, they will have to win games, but they are certainly capable of doing that consistently, and I can guarantee any supporters that none of the players have given up on the chance of promotion yet.
Michael McVie is stuck on 99 points at the moment in all competitive games this season and is 49 ahead of Darren Clapperton. He’s consistently been the number one kicker for Selkirk since David Cassidy left the club and his accuracy this season has helped his team win games.
Compared with other local teams in the Borders Rugby Rankings (based exclusively on league matches) Selkirk are sixth out of eight in terms of scoring league points (31) while they are sixth in the try-scoring table on 28 this season.
Surprisingly, their attack has brought them 210 points to put them in seventh, but their defence is once again excellent.
In a short period, Selkirk went from worst to best in the Borders and they currently sit third behind Peebles and Hawick YM in the defence list, having leaked 232 so far.
Darren Clapperton’s seven league tries gives him a sixth place so far in the try-scoring table in the Borders while McVie is currently seventh in the points list with 69.