Baa-Baas match could be start for fundraising foundation

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THE South of Scotland against the Barbarians could be the first of more glamour friendlies to be held in aid of the Bill McLaren Foundation.

That was the view of foundation secretary John Thorburn after Tuesday’s hugely successful glamour match, which the South XV won 22-17.

Traffic lined Mansfield Road and away up Hamilton Road as more than 2,000 people packed into Mansfield Park, while 170 took advantage of the pre-match hospitality provided by legends of the game Derek Quinnell and Andy Irvine.

Mr Thorburn said: “The charity is really happy with the way the event went and we would certainly consider something similar again.”

It is understood the charity match has raised a five-figure sum for the foundation, which was set up in memory of the late, great Voice of Rugby.

Mr Thorburn added: “The Barbarians loved Bill McLaren almost as much as the people of Hawick did and they didn’t think twice about coming to play the match on Tuesday afternoon.

“Bill would have wanted the match in Hawick and it was fitting that that’s where it was.

“We need to thank a whole number of people for making it possible, including Hawick for staging the game and the South for putting a team together. It was a great result for everyone involved.”

And it was a great occasion for Barbarians captain Jim Thompson.

The Edinburgh and Scotland ‘A’ full-back, and grandson of the late McLaren, said: “It was disappointing not to win it, but this was a great experience. I’ve always wanted to represent the Barbarians, but also raising money for the foundation in memory of my papa was a real honour.”