TEAM building is complete and Selkirk RFC are ready to take on Jed-Forest tonight in their first competitive game of the 2012/13 season.
The Booker Border League match at Riverside Park should give the team an idea of what they will be up against in the new National League and are hoping new Kiwi additions Angus Duckett and Matt Kissick have got over their jetlag in time for the game.
The duo arrived in Selkirk last Thursday and are looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“It’s great to finally be here,” said Angus, “and we can’t wait to start playing for the club. We’ve both been looking forward to coming over to Scotland for a long time, and I definitely think we’re going to enjoy our stay here.”
Angus, who is 22, played at openside flanker for Harbour RFC in Dunedin – the same club as ex-Selkirk player Pete Mirrielees, who suggested the pair join Selkirk for the 2012/2013 season. Matt, 24, is a second-row forward who turns out for Dunedin’s Alhambara Union club. Angus already has close ties with Scotland – his aunt, Anne Hogg, lives in Lilliesleaf, while his grandmother stays in Tranent.
Selkirk’s director of rugby Dennis Henderson believes the players will fit in well at Philiphaugh.
“Selkirk has always enjoyed a close relationship with New Zealand clubs, and we’re grateful to Peter for suggesting Matt and Angus would benefit from a spell at Philiphaugh,” he said.
“It’s very much a two-way process, however, with Selkirk players Andrew Millar and Darren Scott currently over in Christchurch playing for Simon Murdoch’s Kirwee club.
“Life is going to be very tough in this season’s RBS National League, and a club like Selkirk will always need to supplement its squad of local players with a few outsiders if it’s to survive.”
In a pre-season training match at Wilton Lodge Park on Tuesday night, Selkirk ‘A’ started their campaign with a win, scoring seven tries to Hawick Harlequins’ four.
Teenage centre Lewis MacLennan bagged the visitors’ first try after a well-planned move, with fellow threequarter Ryan Henderson adding to Selkirk’s total soon afterwards – his try being converted by Tom Penman. Quins replied with a try in the corner.
In the second 20-minute period Quins scored a brace of tries, but Selkirk hit back with touchdowns from Ciaran Beattie and Youth Club newcomer Harry Aynsley.
The final period of play saw Selkirk dominating proceedings to score three tries to one against, the visitors’ touchdowns coming from MacLennan, Mike Davies and Beattie.