Murrayfield honour for club stalwarts

TWO of the town’s rugby stalwarts are set to play a starring role in the build up to tomorrow’s EMC test match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield.

Isobel Cunningham and Bill Russell were nominated by Hawick and the Linden respectively to take part in the specially arranged event, which will see them join other representatives from over 100 clubs across the country in unveiling a huge version of the new RBS Scotland jersey before kick-off.

Decked in their club colours, the pair have been selected due to the amount of work they have done for their clubs.

Hawick Harlequins vice-president Stephen Gray was also nominated but unfortunately couldn’t make the grand occasion.

Isobel, a former tea ladies convenor who served on the committee at Mansfield Park for six years, is currently in charge of advertising for the programme and pitch boards as well as organising the corporate lunches and helping bar manager Bobby Froud set up events and functions.

She told the Hawick News: “I’m really chuffed and really looking forward to it. I don’t know how I’ll feel when I’m standing on the pitch but wearing the Hawick jersey at Murrayfield will be a proud moment.”

Virtually ‘Mr Linden’, Bill joined the Volunteer Park outfit as an 18-year-old and played for 16 years. During that time he went onto the committee, which he served for an incredible 40 years. Despite coming off the committee last year, he still writes the match reports, tends to electrical work at the Volunteer and takes the dirty kit bags in to be washed.

He said: “It’s quite an honour. It came completely out of the blue but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Colin Thomson, head of community rugby, at Scottish Rugby said: “Club rugby is the lifeblood of the Scottish game and Isobel, Stephen and Billy have been nominated due to the commitment they have made to their clubs and the local communities.

“The match against Ireland will also be one of the last matches before the national team fly to New Zealand for the World Cup and we would like to invite fans from across the country to come and support both their club representatives and the national team at what will be a unique event.”