The annual pro draft has taken place in which around 100 contracted Professional Rugby players in Scotland are assigned to the 10 clubs in the BT Premiership. The idea behind it is to give fringe players more game time with many of them only playing a short amount of time for Edinburgh or Glasgow Warriors, or not used at all. There are some Scotland 7s players in the mix too. The big names will of course be unlikely to be lining up – stars of the calibre of Stuart Hogg, for instance, is unlikely to be pulling on the pink and black jersey of Ayr this season even though he has been assigned to them, but he will be available to help out with coaching and PR duties which will be very beneficial. But it’s the quality players on the cusp of stardom which are the most useful to the Premiership clubs. These are the guys hungry to impress and who will be an asset to those clubs, although, controversially, they will be taking the places of regulars who turn up at training at least twice a week only to be stood down as being surplus to requirements. But that is the modern way and players need to deal with it.
Here are the players drafted to Melrose and Hawick this season, and it is good to see the likes of Darcy Graham (Hawick) and James Bhatti (Melrose) assigned to their own clubs which have been such a big part in their development.
HAWICK – Darcy Graham, Kevin Bryce, Tom Brown, Rory Sutherland, Blair Kinghorn, Cornell Du Preez, Allan Dell, Joseva Nayacavou, John Hardie, Hugh Blake & Phil Burleigh.
MELROSE – Jamie Bhatti, Ally Miller, Tom Galbraith, Grant Gilchrist, Anton Bresler, Simon Berghan, James Johnstone, Stuart McInally, Ross Ford (pictured above courtesy Scottish Rugby) & Scott Riddell.