Pro. players happy to put their weight behind Selkirk
WHEN it was announced that each club in BT Premiership
Divisions One and Two were to be allocated professional players this season, there were predictable moans about
some clubs being better off than others. However, now that the allocations have been made public, few criticisms
have been voiced after what appears to be a fair and equitable distribution of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Borders players.
Meanwhile Borders lock forward Colin Stewart
(known as Big C), is another player who knows Selkirk well, having competed against the club on numerous occasions
as an East Kilbride player. “Being allocated to Selkirk is great,” Colin told selkirkrfc.com after finishing a
training session on the back pitches at Netherdale. “In fact I’ve just bought a flat in the town, so the move has
tied in perfectly. It looks as though you’ve got a lot of young, up-and-coming players in the squad, so it’s going
to be interesting to see how the team goes this year.”
The third member of Selkirk’s professional quartet is Jono Stuart, a 27-year-old centre who returned to the Borders from South Africa this week, where he and his wife Catrin spent their honeymoon after tying the knot on July 19. He and his wife have set up home in Darnick.
“I was affiliated to Selkirk last season,” Jono told us, “but it wasn’t on such a formal basis as this year’s allocation. I attended the Scots Night at Philiphaugh in January, and got know a few club members, so I’m really looking forward to strengthening these ties in the months ahead.”
Jono, who was born in East Yorkshire but is Scotland-qualified, spent three seasons with Glasgow, and prior to that had spells with Leicester Tigers and Paris. He was capped at under-21 level for Scotland, and is looking forward to a big year with the Borders. “We’ve got a great season ahead of us, especially now that we’ve qualified for the European Cup. There’s a great atmosphere in the squad, and I can’t wait for the season to start.”
The final pro. player to be allocated to Selkirk is also the one who looks the most likely to be first to pull on a Selkirk jersey. Aussie flanker Matt Taylor has been sidelined by a foot injury picked up in the Borders’ Parker Pen Challenge Cup match against Montauban at Netherdale (ironically a game played on Friday the 13th). “It turned out to be a bone separation, which was a difficult injury to diagnose,” Matt told the website, “but after four months of rehab. I underwent surgery in Glasgow, and I’m due to get the plaster off this Friday.
“Obviously I’ll need some comeback games, so there’s a fair chance I’ll be lining up for Selkirk at some stage in the coming weeks. I know a handful of Selkirk guys, including your SRU rep. Norrie Douglas, while Basher Inglis has been good enough to drive me up to Edinburgh on several occasions for physiotherapy sessions.”
Matt, who is 30, and like Jono Stuart stays in Darnick, was a physical education teacher before becoming a professional rugby player. He took the field against Selkirk while an Aberdeen GSFP player, after which he spent two years with Edinburgh Rugby. Originally from Brisbane (where he played for the Sunnybank and Souths clubs), both Matt’s parents come from Scotland, and he has represented both Scotland A and the Australian Barbarians.
All four of Selkirk’s allocated players can expect a warm welcome at Philiphaugh in the months ahead, and the website will be giving users of this site regular updates on their progress in the professional ranks throughout the season.