PREMIER A Bri­tish & Ir­ish Cup places fo­cus minds at Ayr, Gala and Cur­rie

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Ayr v Gala

There is a no­tion that Scot­land could have a fourth place in next sea­son’s Bri­tish & Ir­ish Cup but Gala, presently third, aim to round off a fan­tas­tic re­turn to the top di­vi­sion by se­cur­ing that place with a win in their final league game to­day. Ayr are not out of it, though, and can earn a place again with wins in their two re­main­ing league games.

Both sides also have next week­end’s RBS Cup semi-fi­nals to pre­pare for and to­day’s meet­ing has a cup final feel to it. Ayr go into it on the back of a splen­did six-try win at Cur­rie and Mur­ray makes only two start­ing changes. Gor­don Reid is re­tained by Glas­gow so Den­ford Mu­ta­man­gira starts at loose­head prop while Richard Dal­gleish re­places Cammy Tay­lor on the wing. Mur­ray Mccon­nell, the un­der-20 in­ter­na­tional scrum half is on the bench.

Gala im­pressed in their bor­der derby win over Mel­rose at Netherdale but Ge­orge Gra­ham, their coach, makes two changes: Bryce Turner comes in at cen­tre for Gre­gor Hunter and lock David Mar­shall re­places Chris Weir. Pre­dic­tion home ad­van­tage de­ci­sive

Dundee HSFP v Cur­rie

Dundee have as­sured them­selves of one of the Bri­tish & Ir­ish Cup places next sea­son and have two games left to vie for the ti­tle with Mel­rose. Cur­rie, ex­pe­ri­enced B&I Cup com­peti­tors, play their final game to­day and have their last chance to make the top three, though they are de­pen­dent on Gala los­ing.

Dundee’s un­beaten home record stretches back to Fe­bru­ary 2011 and Ian Rankin, the coach, has a fully-fit squad. Thje only one change to the side that won at Bor­ough­muir in­volves Andy Mclean play­ing on the wing and Alan Hay mov­ing to the bench.

Ally Don­ald­son, the Cur­rie coach,

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