Friday, 31 August 2018

PREVIEW: 2018/19 Opening Weekend

Alas, after a long off-season competitive rugby is upon us once more.

The 1XV kick off their 2018/19 season tomorrow with an away trip to Edinburgh Accies. Newly promoted Accies will be out to prove a point in front of a home crowd at Raeburn Place and have promised Premiership fans to expect a fast and expansive style of play.

Ayr will take confidence from a very strong preseason where they dusted off GHA, Marr and Hull Ionians- scoring 159 points in the process.

Danny McCluskey captains the side with Pete McCallum sidelined through injury. Millbrae new-boys Ollie Smith and Kyle Rowe start at 13 and 14 with some familiar faces completing the rest of the back line.

In the pack Ruairidh Sayce picks up his first start for the 1XV as a reward for some very strong preseason performances. Lee Scott makes his Ayr return after a few seasons riddled with injury and is joined in the engine room by Forsoc Scottish Rugby Academy Stage Three player Marshall Sykes. David Corbenici earns his competitive debut at six with Spinks and Macpherson completing the back-row.

On the bench former Millbrae-boy James Malcolm is released from Warriors for the weekend and Dutch Internationalist Amir Rademaker could make his debut if brought on. 

The 2XV are also in action tomorrow away to Hamilton in the National 1 reserve league. A youthful side, they will benefit from the experience of Craig Gossman who leads from full-back. New boys Alfie North, Alan Ferrie and Wolf Van Dijk start at 4, 5 and 7, respectively. 

If you can't make the trip to Edinburgh or Hamilton and don't fancy fighting the crowds at the Air Show Millbrae host Uddingston at Millbrae in what looks to be a close encounter.

On Sunday action continues when Ayr Ladies look to get back-to-back league wins as they travel to Howe of Fife. 

1XV: G. Anderson, K. Rowe, O. Smith, D. McCluskey (C), J. Bova, S. Lyle, D. Armstrong; R. Sayce, R. Smith, S. Longwell, L. Scott, M. Sykes, D. Corbenici, T. Spinks, B. Macpherson.

Subs: J. Malcolm, E. McLaren, G. Henry, A. Rademaker, P. Dewhirst.

2XV: C. Gossman, F. Bark, H. Lynch, J. Rennie, C. Black, H. Warr, L. Young; B. Paterson, S. Collier, C. Miller, A. North, A. Ferrie, C. Brown, W. Van Dijk, C. Reece.

Subs: L. Pentleton, L. Richardson, S. King. 

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