Grammar want day to remember at Rubislaw
Rugby union: First win is target and support for legend Weir as Kelso call
Aberdeen Wanderers resume action in Caley 1 tomorrow after progressing to the second round of the National Shield last week but will find Harris Academy FPs a tough test.
Fraser Burr, joint Wanderers head coach, said: “Harris have started the season well in both the league and shield and will be hard to beat on their own patch.”
In Caley 2 North, the match of the day is at Redcloak where Mackie FPs and Ellon meet, both unbeaten this season and keen to maintain their respective promotion hopes.
Mackie were impressive in seeing Glenrothes off in the National Shield, while Ellon were effective when beating Inverness Craig Dunain in the bowl.
Garioch travel to Shetland under new head coach Dave Duguid, a stalwart at the club, and should pick up the maximum for their new leader.
Moray meet Aberdeen Grammar 2nds at Elgin, bidding to get back on track after the shock of losing two weeks ago to Deeside at Banchory.
RAF Lossiemouth travel to Aberdeen where they aim to keep their high scoring record going at the expense of Aberdeen University Medics.
Ross Sutherland travel to Stornoway and Highland 2nds host Deeside.
In Caledonia 3 North there is another top-ofthe-table match at Kinloss where the Eagles meet Aberdeenshire 2nds.
Aberdeen University make their first appearance of the season and, should the students’ key players be back from the vacation, will threaten North Police Scotland’s unbeaten record.
Huntly are at home to Gordonians 2nds, Peterhead host a game with Inverness Craig Dunain, Moray 2nds meet Dyce and at Groats Road Aberdeen Wanderers 2nds play Fraserburgh. Aberdeen Grammar winger Grant Walker wants five points and a big show of support for former Scottish rugby international Doddie Weir when his side hosts Kelso tomorrow.
Grammar will support Weir, who earned 61 caps for Scotland as well as representing the British and Irish Lions, by raising funds for the Euan Macdonald Centre at Rubislaw.
A silent auction for Scottish rugby memorabilia, entertainment from Rubislaw Pipe Band and Aberdeen University cheerleaders as well as a showcase of local youth rugby will support the National 1 fixture.
Money raised will go towards the charity which was highlighted following Weir’s announcement he has motor neurone disease this year.
Walker said: “Doddie is a huge figure in Scottish Gordonians have adapted to National 3 in style by taking maximum points from their opening two games of the season to lead the division but the league newcomers are not about to be lulled into a false sense of security.
President Jim Sugden is delighted to see his club leading the way at the top of the league following wins against Perthshire and Orkney but he knows sterner tests lie ahead for his side.
He said: “It has been a fantastic start to the season rugby and both he and his famous tartan suits have been at every club in the country in some shape or form.
“We’re doing our bit to support him and we want to make the game a cup final occasion. He has done so much for the game up here and hopefully we can make it a day to remember by putting on a show, winning the game, collecting five points and help raise a lot of money for him in the process.”
Walker will make his first appearance of the season following a six-week absence due to a head knock suffered in pre-season.
He said: “I’m glad to have been given the all-clear at last. It’s usually a couple of weeks but there are tests which need to be done to for us and we can’t ask for any more than winning our opening two games in National 3.
“It’s great to get the confidence up and the table makes for pleasant viewing but we’re not getting carried show I’m symptom-free and I couldn’t quite get there to get the go-ahead to play again.
“Thankfully, I’m fine now and I’m grateful to the medical team for its support and treatment. We’re all hugely conscious of concussion-related injuries these days and it was important I was back to 100% before playing again.”
Walker’s return comes at a good time for his club after a disappointing start to the campaign.
Grammar were eliminated from the National Cup before losing their two opening league games and Walker is eager to get a first win.
He said: “We need to get up and running. It’s been a frustrating start as we really wanted to kick on this season. The players put in a good shift against Gala but last week at Selkirk was frustrating. Those games are gone now and our focus is firmly on Kelso. This is a big game and we really need to win it.” away. We’ve got some really tough games ahead of us and we’re playing against a better standard of opposition this year. It’s early days. We’ve got some really tough away fixtures.”
Gordonians’ strong start is all the more impressive considering the lengthy injury list they are contending with.
Sugden said: “We have an unprecedented number of injuries with as many as 15 guys out, which is another challenge.
“Andrew Wilson trained with us and tore his Achilles on his first night. He is working his way back from that but for most of the squad it’s niggles, bumps and bruises they are dealing with but it has been enough to keep players out of selection.
“It’s tough on us but the situation is giving others a chance to show what they can do and stake a claim for a regular place in the side.”
Gordonians are on their travels again this weekend when they make the trip to Haddington.
Sugden said: “I watched them against Highland last week and they did better than the 31-10 scoreline suggests. They’re a stuffy side with a big pack and we’ll have to handle that.
“They produced a good spirited performance and it will be really tough for us.” Orkney are still looking for their first National 3 win of the season but head coach Paul Livingstone is convinced it is just around the corner.
Ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Newton Stewart, Livingstone said: “Hopefully, we can start the ball rolling on home soil. We have had a tough start to the season due to a long list of injuries carried over from last season.
“We still have three guys with broken bones and three with dislocated shoulders.
“Some of them may never play rugby again due to the injuries they