Hawick and their new second XV face off against Gala in tomorrow’s friendly at Netherdale, as the countdown quickens to the new season.
The two Borders rivals look set to cast aside the traditional competitiveness and rivalry to avoid injuries and to give both the first XV and second XV one final runout before the 2015/16 campaign kicks off.
For some players, Saturday’s fixture could be their last chance to impress before the new season begins. Head coach Nikki Walker is expected to pick his first-choice side, or as close to the one that will start against Melrose next Saturday (August 29), for the first period of the game, before testing those who are on the verge of being included in the 22 -man squad for the BT Premiership opener.
Speaking to the Hawick News, Greens full-back Neil Renwick said: “Everyone who gets a chance on Saturday will be out there trying to prove that they deserve a shot at Melrose next week.
“From a coaching point of view, I think Nikki and the other coaches will be using Saturday as a chance for those who have question marks [over them] to prove a point.
“This summer it’s been very competitive at training. There is a lot more pressure on boys to keep performing at their peak, and we’ve been pushing each other non-stop, especially the young lads who have made the jump up from the Wanderers, who haven’t looked out of place.”
Renwick added: “No one wants to be dropped and we understand that we have to bring our A-game to every training session and game if we want to keep the jersey, otherwise there are two or three boys behind waiting to step up and take it from you.”
Meanwhile, Hawick have announced two new signings in the shape of South Africans Wiaan Girebenow, at centre, who played last season with National Two side Aberdeenshire, and former Wanderers (SA) loose-head prop Jacques Stierlin.