1st XV vs Falkirk: Programme Notes
I extend a very warm welcome to Inverleith to all home and away supporters for this, our first RBS Premier 2 League fixture of Season 2011/12.
Today I extend a special welcome to President Alex McQuade of Falkirk RFC, his committee, players and supporters. For those of you with good memories, last season’s first fixture was also against Falkirk. It was a keenly fought match and the home team emerged victorious – hopefully the result will go with home advantage again. I’m sure today’s match will be played with the same level of enthusiasm, as the players will be looking forward to getting into action again after what feels like a long pre- season training programme.
This is the last season of the Premier 1, 2 and 3 League format, following the decision made by Clubs at the SRU AGM earlier in the summer. Premier 2 will again be a tough league and we know that we have to get a good start to the season.
We are very pleased to welcome the Club’s new main sponsor, Wishart Contracts, to Inverleith today. It’s great to have your support. We also welcome one of our other main sponsors, GS Corporate Services, today. I invite the home supporters to get to know both companies.
The players are wearing the new strip, which has been supplied by Zoo. The introduction to Zoo came through our former player, Ross Samson, who is now playing his rugby with London Irish. We wish him every success with his new Club. Another former player who has joined a new club is Murray Allan, who is now turning out for Hong Kong Scottish.
Other former players in the news are Ross Rennie and Richie Vernon, both of whom were selected for the Scotland squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. We look forward to watching their success on the World stage.
Two players who have moved away from Inverleith are Colin Phillips (Currie) and Mike Crawley (B’muir). We wish them both well with their new clubs – that is, until we play them!
Some of the new faces at Inverleith this season are Mark Burgess (2nd XV forwards coach), Willie Aitken (Carlops/Peebles), Jamie Allan (Jersey), Ethan Brown (Queensland), Mike Brown (B’Muir), Dan Gilmour (B’muir), Matt Hanning (RHC), Roddy Mackenzie (B’muir), Fraser Morrison (RHC), Reece O’Leary (NZ), Joni Hare (B’muir) and Joe Parvin (Queensland). They have come from far and wide to play in the red, black and gold at Inverleith, and we hope they all enjoy the experience. A special welcome back to Inverleith goes to Angus Dixon (Aberdeen Grammar) and Matt Hannay (St Andrews University) who are returning to Inverleith after University. There are probably a few others I’ve missed, and I’ll record them in future programmes – but, for now, you’re all very welcome at Inverleith.
The observant among you will have noticed the Club’s new website. The address is still www.stewmelrugby.com, and, after some ten years, it was decided that it was time to rest the ‘old’ site and develop a new one. Hopefully you’ve noticed an improvement! We’re grateful to Neil Macleod of Bell Johnstone for his sponsorship of the new site.
The first social event of the season is on Sunday 4th September, when the Clubhouse will again be open for the Festival Fireworks. Avoid the crowds up town and come down to Inverleith to watch the fireworks with friends. Tickets, which will include food, are available for members of the Committee at a nominal cost.