Stirling County head to The Greenyards for the BT Cup semi-final with Melrose this Saturday as underdogs, but they are up for the challenge.
In the regular season, Melrose finished top of the BT Premiership table while County were eighth and the former defeated the latter both home and away.
However, County are likely to have their Scotland under-20 representatives back and, with a date at BT Murrayfield next month just 80 minutes away, they will head to the Borders and give it everything they have got.
One player who has been in good form of late is back-row Ruairidh Leishman and the 23-year-old is excited about the last four clash.
“I am looking forward to heading down to Melrose for the semi-final,” he said. “We played well against them last week in our league game although we lost. Hopefully we will have our five under-20 boys back and be able to give it a real go.
“It would be great to get a win and finish the season on a high with a cup final.
“It's been a bit of a mixed season, we've managed to stay above the relegation play-off spot, but we should be aiming for a top half finish with the team we have.
“There's a lot of young players in the team coming through our academy that have played in the first XV this year and others with Scotland under-20 experience so hopefully that'll help for next year.”
And Leishman is also a happy man having been selected to play for Scottish select side the PROJECX Waterboys at the Hong Kong 10s on April 5 and 6.
The Waterboys team was initially started in 2012 with the aim of providing younger players, with a link to Scotland, the opportunity to visit the world’s largest tournaments.
The team this year is set to be filled with talent from the BT Premiership and beyond and the Waterboys are seeded eighth for the event
“It's a great honour to be selected, I've heard Hong Kong is the best sevens and 10s tournament and the standard of rugby will be really high with the other invitational teams attending,” Leishman, the former under-20 cap who started playing the game for McLaren minis in Callander and then moved to County in his teens, stated.
“We have a really strong team heading to the tournament with some of the top players in the Scottish top flight in our squad, so I think it'll be a great tournament and we can go and do well.”
In the other BT Cup semi-final on Saturday Ayr host Glasgow Hawks at Millbrae.
Meanwhile, second-row Hamilton Burr has been named County’s player of the year.
He said “I am extremely proud to be named as player of the year. Coming here at the start of the season I didn't expect to receive an award quite like this. It only reflects the hard work of the coaching staff and the players around me.
“The players within the first XV and 2second XV have been exceptional in making me feel welcome as a part of Stirling County and it feels like I've been here for years.
“With the game left to play in the semi-final against Melrose in the BT Cup it would be fantastic to come away with a win to get us to the final. Now that would be a great way to end the season.”
Head coach David Adamson added “Well done, Hammy. You have done really well since joining the club and exceeded our expectations. Your commitment to the success of the team has been exemplary. You have been an absolutely stellar addition to the club.”
Loading article content