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Selkirk fly-half Gavin Craig breaks through the Stewart’s/Melville FP defence on Saturday . . .

. . . before off-loading to team-mate Iain Oosthuizen, who makes ground before feeding out to . . .

. . . full-back Ciaran Whyte, who crashes over for the line for Selkirk’s only try of the game.

Selkirk skipper Ross Nixon leads the team out at Inverleith past a guard of honour comprising Selkirk Rhinos players.



A PATCHY, error-strewn display saw Selkirk lose out to Stewart’s/Melville FP in Saturday’s BT National League 1 fixture at Inverleith, a defeat which sees the Philiphaugh men slip to sixth place in the table behind GHA.
It was a particularly disappointing result for Selkirk’s South African utility forward Ian Oosthuizen, who had hoped to end his spell as a Selkirk player on a winning note.
“It was a very frustrating afternoon for the Selkirk boys,” the talented 24-year-old told the selkirkrfc.com web site after the game. “We didn’t quite manage to hit our stride, and couldn’t exert the control we’d managed in far more difficult conditions last weekend.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Selkirk, and can’t thank everyone enough for all the kindness I’ve been shown since I arrived at Philiphaugh,” added Ian, who flew back to Johannesburg on Tuesday evening to take up a contract with Premier League side Boland Cavaliers.
“Since coming to Scotland I’ve realised I want to make rugby a full-time career. Securing a contract with the Cavaliers is the first step down this path, and is extremely exciting. Playing Currie Cup rugby is going to be a challenge, for sure, but it’s one I’m very much up for and I can’t wait to get started.”
It was Oosthuizen who played a pivotal role in the build-up to Selkirk’s first try at Inverleith. In the 17th minute Gavin Craig broke clean through the middle and Oosthuizen was up in support to take the fly-half’s off-load and give a scoring pass to Ciaran Whyte.
The full-back duly converted his own try, and six minutes later sent over a penalty to put the visitors 10-0 ahead. Craig then departed to the sidelines with an ankle injury, Whyte taking over the No. 10 jersey and replacement Tythan Adams moving to full-back.
Colleges hit back with a Seb Trotter try, converted by Morison, and on the stroke of halftime won a strike against the head to set up another try, this time by Angus Wallace. Morrison’s successful conversion gave Stewart’s/Melville a 14-10 interval lead.
More unforced errors and a yellow card for James Bett in the 65th minute saw Selkirk struggle to regain any kind of rhythm in the second half. Although Whyte kicked two more penalties, Stewart’s/Melville notched a third try by Ferguson, converted by Morrison, to secure victory.
Prop Cata Graur was named the Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ for an impressive all-round display, while young lock forward Jack Houston caught the eye with a solid second half shift in only his third senior appearance for the Souters.
Saturday’s match also saw back row forward Strath Mackenzie make his senior debut for Selkirk, just reward for some impressive performances in recent weeks for the ‘A’ XV.
SELKIRK – C. Whyte, C. McEwan, L. MacLennan, R. Nixon, F. Anderson, G. Craig, M. Davies, K. Cooney, J. Bett, B. Siyothula, R. Cook, P. Forrest, I. Oosthuizen, M. Robertson, E. MacDougall. Replacements: T. Adams, J. Houston, C. Graur, S. Mackenzie.


Scrum-half Ryan Legge gets his threequarter line moving in Selkirk A’s hard-fought match against Stewart’s/Melville FP 2nds at Inverleith on Saturday.

Jackson Wallace manages to get his pass away, despite the attentions of a Stewart’s/Melville FP 2nds defender.

Selkirk ‘A’ replacement Scott Tomlinson shows he’s lost none of his passion for the game as he makes a powerful break from the base of a scrum.



DESPITE a typically battling performance, Selkirk ‘A’ eventually had to give second best to an equally spirited Stewart’s/Melville FP 2nds side in Saturday’s entertaining, end-to-end BT Reserve League National 2 encounter at Inverleith.
Injuries to 1st XV players meant no fewer than three of the A team’s key forwards had to be moved into the senior squad, leaving the pack facing an uphill battle against the much bigger home eight.
The visitors’ predicament was such that centre Douglas Swinbanks - sidelined since breaking his right arm against the same opponents at Philiphaugh on October 15 - had to be switched to the second row, a position in which he had never played before. It also saw former Selkirk skipper Scott Tomlinson return to action at the age of 40, and his experience proved a real asset.
“All teams encounter problems like this at some stage,” Selkirk ‘A’ head coach Brian Cassidy said after the game, “and you just have to get on with it. Dougie didn’t hesitate when asked if he could fill in at lock, and Scott Tomlinson was also ready to lend a hand at a moment’s notice.
“You can’t put a price on commitment like this, and I was proud of both these players and the rest of the boys, who all gave it their best shot and played for the jersey.”
Selkirk made a bright start when Scott Hendrie’s inside break put Josh Welsh into space. The strong-running centre found skipper Ross Purves in support, with the number eight being held up over the line. From the scrum Callum McColm’s ‘miss’ pass found wing Kerr Gerrard, who scored in the left-hand corner. Welsh’s superb conversion put the visitors’ 7-0 ahead.
The home team drew level with a try from Ben Hay converted by Jack Calder, before taking the lead through an Andrew Manson try after a Selkirk clearance kick had been charged down. On the stroke of halftime Welsh kicked a penalty to cut Colleges’ lead to 14-10.
After the break Welsh’s penalty cut the deficit to a single point. However, at this point the visitors lost Ruairi Wilson with a groin strain, necessitating Ross Purves moving to hooker and scrum-half Jackson Wallace deputising at flanker.
Despite some magnificent defending by Selkirk on their own line, Oliver Williamson touched down the home team’s third try from a rolling maul, before a Rhys Gilroy try and Euan Brown penalty stretched the Stewart’s/Melville lead to 27-13.
However, in the dying seconds Selkirk had the final say thanks to a short-range try from prop Bruce Riddell, following which Josh Welsh successfully kicked a quite magnificent conversion – wide out and against the wind – to salvage a vital losing bonus point for the never-say-die Souters.
SELKIRK – R. Hamilton, R. Shiel, S. Hendrie, J. Welsh, K. Gerrard, C. McColm, J. Wallace, R. Reilly, R. Wilson, B. Riddell, D. Swinbanks, J. Turnbull, W. McClymont, J. Griffin, R. Purves. Replacements: R. Legge, A. Rutter, S. Tomlinson.

Referee – Dougie Dykes (Trinity Accies).


Ian Oosthuizen enjoys a spot of relaxation in his Selkirk flat prior to catching the flight home. [Photo: JOHN SMAIL]

SELKIRK Rugby Club has bid a fond farewell to its multi-talented South African forward Ian Oosthuizen. The 23-year-old has been offered a playing contract with the Boland Cavaliers in Cape Town, and flew out from Edinburgh on Tuesday evening bound for his home city of Johannesburg.
“I’m incredibly excited about the Cavaliers contract,” Ian told the selkirkrfc.com web site on Sunday, “and at the same time incredibly grateful to the Selkirk club for giving me the opportunity to further my rugby career. People have been so kind to me since I arrived, and being part of such a close-knit community has been a fantastic experience.”
Ian and fellow South African player Tythan Adams arrived at Philiphaugh at the end of November, under a scheme jointly supported by the South African Rugby Union, UK Sport and the British High Commission. In recent weeks Ian has been attending training sessions with the Edinburgh pro. team as a guest player, and it’s this turn of events which has convinced him his future lies in full-time professional rugby.
“Securing a pro. contract has always been at the back of my mind,” said Ian, “and a couple of weeks ago I got in touch with my former South African under-19 coach, to ask his advice about the best way of taking the next step. He gave me the names of some people to contact, and I’m obviously delighted to have been offered a contract so quickly.”
The Cavaliers have recently been promoted to South Africa’s Premier League, which means Ian will be playing top-level Currie Cup rugby. Although normally a front row player, almost all of Ian’s nine appearances for Selkirk have been at flanker.
“The Cavaliers have signed me as a loosehead prop, so I’m definitely going to have to put some weight and muscle back on over the next few weeks!” joked Ian. “I’ve actually played 90 per cent of my career to date at loosehead prop, so I’m very comfortable in this position.”
Selkirk Rugby Club chairman John Rutherford told the selkirkrfc.com web site that everyone at Philiphaugh wished Ian well in his new career. “Ian’s a really super guy and has fitted in so well at the club. He’s been a hugely influential player for us, and we are naturally going to miss him. He’s clearly enjoyed every moment of his stay, and has promised to return to Selkirk for a holiday with his fiancee!”
Other South African players who have come over to Philiphaugh under the exchange scheme in recent years include Dashton Wellman, Leon du Plessis and Chaney Willemse, all of whom have gone on to carve out successful rugby careers for themselves.
Here’s wishing Ian all the very best for the future… and haste ye back!




at BT Murrayfield (2.25pm kick-off)


Recent Results

11/02 Selkirk 18, Aberdeen GSFP 9 Report
11/02 Selkirk A 17, West of Scotland 2nds 14 Report
03/02 Peebles 2nds 19 Selkirk A 10 Report
28/01 Selkirk 7, Falkirk 29 Report
21/01 Edin. Accies 21, Selkirk 26 Report
21/01 Edin. Accies 2nds 50, Selkirk A 18 Report
06/01 GHA 38, Selkirk 36 Report
06/01 GHA 2nds19 , Selkirk A 14 Report



CONGRATULATIONS go to former Selkirk player Callum Marshall (pictured above) on being named in the Scotland Club XV’s starting line-up for this Friday night’s international match against England Counties in Birmingham.

Callum, who now plays his rugby with Heriot’s FP, is one of 11 debutants in the squad, and will pack down in the second row alongside Robert McAlpine of Ayr. Another Millbrae player, number eight Pete McCallum, will captain the side.

No-one will be prouder of the talented 26-year-old’s achievement than his family – father Graham (Selkirk head coach who himself won four full international caps for Scotland), mother Ann and sister Kirsty.

During his eight-year playing career at Philiphaugh, Callum made 117 appearances for the club’s 1st XV, scoring a total of 15 tries. He was also a member of the first-ever Selkirk side to win Gala Sevens, being named ‘Player of the Tournament’ at the 2009 event for good measure.

The Scotland Club XV will be hoping to follow up last season’s 57-27 annihilation of England Counties at Netherdale with another victory, although perhaps no-one will be expecting such a one-sided contest. 

Scotland Club XV head coach, Phil Smith, told the media on Tuesday: “I have selected players who have been on genuine form in the BT Premiership and who are best representing the Scottish club game.

“We have some new faces joining the Club XV this season so have blended youth and experience across the match day squad. The boys will compete as they do every week at club level in what will be an exciting contest between the two sides.” 

Callum becomes the sixth Selkirk player to gain Scotland Club XV honours in recent years, the others being Lee Jones, Fraser Harkness, Gavin Craig, Nyle Godsmark and Angus Duckett.

The full Scotland Club XV team to play England Counties at Birmingham Moseley on Friday, February 24 (kick-off 7.45pm)

15. Fraser Thomson (Melrose)

14. Harvey Elms (Currie)
13. Ross Curle (Ayr)
12. George Taylor (Melrose)
11. Jordan Edmunds (Boroughmuir)

10. Chris Laidlaw (Boroughmuir)
9. Murdo McAndrew (Melrose)

1. Stephen Findlay (Glasgow Hawks)
2. Michael Liness (Heriot’s FP)
3. Steven Longwell (Ayr)
4. Robert McAlpine (Ayr)
5. Callum Marshall (Heriot’s FP)
6. Iain Moody (Melrose)
7. Grant Runciman (Melrose)
8. Pete McCallum (Ayr) Captain

Replacements: Russell Anderson (Melrose), Gary Strain (Glasgow Hawks), John Cox (Currie), Blair MacPherson, Will Bordill, David Armstrong (all Ayr), Robbie Nelson (Currie), Kerr Gossman (Glasgow Hawks).


ALTHOUGH most of the attention at Inverleith on Saturday was focused on the match taking place on the main pitch between Stewart’s/Melville FP and Selkirk, spectators who gathered around the back pitch for the reserve league fixture between the home club’s 2nd XV and Selkirk ‘A’ found themselves in the company of three of Scotland’s rugby legends.
Brothers Finlay and Jim Calder, both of whom represented Scotland and the British & Irish Lions, are in charge of coaching and managing the Stewart’s/Melville FP 2nds team this season. They were joined on the touchline by Selkirk’s own Scotland and British Lions star, John Rutherford.
After the final whistle Finlay Calder, who captained the 1989 Lions to a series win in Australia, told the selkirkrfc.com web site that it had been a pleasure watching such a well contested match.
“I thought it was a very competitive game and a great advert for rugby,” he told the selkirkrfc.com web site. “Jim and I are both really enjoying being involved with the team, and it’s vital everybody keeps working to ensure as many players as possible can get out and enjoy a game of rugby each Saturday.
“It’s also been fun catching up with John Rud this afternoon, and it’s no surprise discovering he’s every bit as committed to the game nowadays as he was during his playing career.”
For his part, the Selkirk RFC chairman was equally impressed by the commitment shown by both sets of players. “The Selkirk boys played their socks off today,” said John, “in spite having lost the services of a few regulars because of call-ups to the senior squad.
“It’s great to see that Jim and Finlay are still so closely involved with the Stewart’s/Melville FP club. Rugby friendships last a lifetime, and that’s what’s so special about rugby no matter at what level you played.”


FORMER Selkirk threequarter Alex Dunbar has been cleared by Scotland’s medical team to return to action in Saturday’s Six Nations match against Wales at BT Murrayfield if selected.
Alex showed concussion-like symptoms during and after Scotland’s loss to France in Paris the weekend before last, but has now successfully come through all the IRB return-to-play protocols.
Here’s wishing Alex and the rest of the Scotland team all the very best on Saturday afternoon.

THE £100 winner of Selkirk RFC's Development Club draw for January was number 247, which belongs to Mrs Mary Smail.
The Development Club is a great way of raising money for the Selkirk club, and as well as getting the chance to win the £100 monthly prize, members are in with a chance of landing the £1,000 jackpot each December (just ask Ewen Robbie how good this feels!) .
"Now that the New Year has started, this is a great time to join the development club," secretary Alison Cullen told the selkirkrfc.com web site this week.
"All that's required are monthly standing order payments of £3, or alternatively an annual payment of £36. Please get in touch with me by Message or pop into the club shop on training nights or on home match days at Philiphaugh to sign up," said Alison.
"I would also like to respectfully remind existing members who pay their memberships annually that their money is now due, and I look forward to hearing from them very soon!"

1st XV

(as at 20/2/2017)

Played 22 Won 11 Lost 11 Drawn 0
Pts scored: 586. Pts conceded: 565.
Tries scored: 88. Tries conceded: 70.

Leading try scorers (after 22 matches): 17 - Darren Clapperton; 10 - Scott Hendrie; 8 - Josh Welsh; 7 - Tythan Adams, Craig MacDougall; 5 - Ciaran Whyte; 4 – Frazer Anderson, Ross Nixon; 3 - Callum McEwan, Matt Robertson, Lewis MacLennan; 2 – Mikey Davies, Peter Forrest, Jordan McGowan, Cata Graur; 1- James Bett, Ewan MacDougall, Michael Waldron, Andrew Renwick, Ian Oosthuizen, Dave Allan, Scott McDonald, Rory Banks, Sean Nixon, Max Gordon, Scott Tough.

Leading points scorers (after 22 matches): 116 – Josh Welsh (8 tries, 7 penalties, 30 conversions); 85 – Darren Clapperton (17 tries), 66 – Ciaran Whyte (5 tries, 5 penalties, 13 conversions).

Most appearances (after 22matches): 22 - Ross Nixon, Matt Robertson, Peter Forrest; 21 - Ewan MacDougall; 19 - Kieran Cooney, Darren Clapperton; 18 - Josh Welsh; 17 - Ciaran Whyte; 16 - Michael Waldron; 15 - Scott Hendrie; 14 - Cata Graur, Craig MacDougall, Ruairi Wilson, Jordan McGowan, Sean Nixon; 13 - Andrew Renwick; 12 - Frazer Anderson; 11 - Callum McEwan, Jackson Wallace; 10 - Mikey Davies, Lewis MacLennan, Max Gordon; 9 - Ian Oosthuizen, Tythan Adams, Gavin Craig; 8 – Scott McDonald, Bonekele Siyothula.

‘A’ XV
(as at 20/2/2017)

Played 18 Won 5 Lost 13 Drawn 0
Pts scored: 264. Pts conceded: 539.
Tries scored: 42. Tries conceded: 81.

Leading try scorers (after 18 matches): 7 – Kerr Gerrard; 5 - Ross Purves; 4 - Dave Allan, Lewis Martin; 3 - Rory Banks; 2 – Callum McColm, Ruairi Wilson, Harry Borthwick;1 – Bruce Riddell, Josh Welsh, Robert Cook, Jackson Wallace, Bonekele Siyothula, Callum McEwan, Donald Nichol, Rory Hamilton, Ali Lyall, Frazer Anderson, Aaron McColm, Michael Waldron, Strath Mackenzie, Neil Darling.

Leading points scorers
(after 18 matches): 54 - Rory Banks (3 tries, 9 penalties, 6 conversions); 32 – Rory Hamilton (1 try, 1 penalty, 12 conversions); 35 – Kerr Gerrard (7 tries).

Most appearances (after 18 matches): 15 - Robbie Reilly, Ross Purves, Rory Hamilton, Jimmy Stephen, Robert Cook; 14 - Lewis Martin; 13 - Jy Griffin, Gavin Ross, Strath Mackenzie, Dave Allan; 11- Kerr Gerrard, Finlay Amos, Harry Borthwick; 10 –Kieran Thomson; 9 – Ryan Shiel, Alan Lambie, Frazer Anderson; 8 - Willie McClymont, Callum McColm, Ryan Legge; 7- Douglas Swinbanks, Jack Houston, Ali Lyall, Donald Nichol; 6 - Rory Banks; 6 – Jamie Turnbull; 5 - Ruairi Wilson, Lewis MacLennan, Michael Waldron; 4 - Connor Ward, Kieran Monks, Gavin Craig; 3 – Jackson Wallace, Cata Graur, Scott McDonald, Phil Anderson.