TENNENT'S PREM PREVIEW | Heriot's and Currie Chieftains in Edinburgh derby

Heriot’s and Currie Chieftains headline this Saturday’s Tennent’s Premiership action with an Edinburgh derby at Goldenacre (Saturday 6 October, kick-off 3pm) in a match where victory could go either way.

Heriot’s have the home advantage but as we reach Round 6 there is very little to choose between the two teams.

Heriot’s hold third place on the table, with four wins from five. Currie are snapping at their heels in fourth, with three wins to date.

Both sides have recorded big wins against teams further down the table but have lost to top-placed Ayr. 

Currie experienced a narrow defeat to Stirling in the fourth round and Heriot’s could easily have suffered the same fate last week but for Callum Marshall’s tackle on Ratu Tagive in the last play of the game.

In terms of stats, the teams could hardly be closer. 

Heriot’s have scored 188 points so far to Currie’s 186, both teams have racked up 27 tries and the league’s top try-scorers are Currie’s Ben Robbins on nine and Heriot’s Craig Robertson with eight.

The sides last met in March where Currie took the win (19-47) at the indoor setting of Heriot Watt’s Oriam facility.

This weekend’s match will either see Heriot’s extend their lead over their Edinburgh rivals or allow Currie to edge ahead in the table.

In terms of selection, Robert Kay's return for Heriot’s sees Stuart Edwards move to 10 and Dougie Steele drop out. 

In the forwards, Michael Liness returns to the starting line-up. Adam Sinclair and Iain Wilson are unavailable, which means Callum Bell gets his second start and Sean Johnstone will get a chance to make his debut from the bench.

Heriot’s Head Coach, Phil Smith, said: “A tight win last weekend has meant the players have continued to work hard, recognising there is not an easy fixture in this league and sometimes hard work wins games.

“Our opponents this weekend, Currie Chieftains, will present a similar challenge to Stirling, in that they are excellent at keeping the ball and putting you under pressure. 

“We will be looking to do the simple things well and apply our own pressure at the right time in the right areas.”

Changes have also been made to the Currie Chieftains line-up for this week’s game. 

Greg Peterson and Tevita Tameilau are back with the Warriors so Rhys Davies and Scott McGinley return to the starting team. 

Argentinian prop, Matias Sonzogni Argiro, comes into the league squad for the first time having recovered from an injury picked up in pre-season. Marc Kelly, Roan Frostwick and Adam Hall also come on to the bench.

Currie Chieftain’s Head Coach, Ben Cairns, said: “It was another good performance last week from us at Malleny. The challenge now is to take that form away from home, something we have not managed so far this season. 

“Heriot’s have been in good form so far this season with a strong pack and a good blend of youth and experience. 

“There have been some terrific matches between the two sides in recent seasons, normally going down to the last play. This weekend’s match will likely be the same with the ability to convert chances into points probably key.” 

Elsewhere in the Tennent’s Premiership,Glasgow Hawks will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Currie when they take on Watsonians at Myreside. Melrose will also be aiming to get back to winning ways when they face Stirling County at the Greenyards.

Hawick will be determined to get their campaign underway with a home fixture against Tennent’s Premiership newcomers Edinburgh Accies. Fifth-placed Boroughmuir will expect to be tested when visitors Ayr arrive at Meggetland. 

Clubs from across Tennent’s National Leagues 1, 2 and 3 will also continue their season on Saturday. For a full list of fixtures, visit scottishrugby.org/fixtures-results.

HERIOT’S: Jack Blain; Rory McMichael, Ross Jones CAPTAIN, Robert Kay, Craig Robertson; Stuart Edwards, Andrew Simmers; Martin Bouab, Michael Liness, Struan Cessford, Callum Bell, Callum Marshall , Martin Hughes, Jack McLean, Rhuaridh Leishman. Substitutes: Ali Johnstone, Josh Scott, Sean Johnstone, Alex Ball, Charlie Simpson.

CURRIE CHIEFTAINS: Jamie Forbes; Ben Robbins, Joe Reynolds, Robbie Nelson CAPTAIN, Steven Hamilton; Gregor Hunter, Charlie Shiel; AP McWilliam, Graeme Carson, Fraser Watt, Rhys Davies, Mike Vernel, Luke Crosbie, Thomas Gordon, Scott McGinley. Substitutes: Campbell Wilson, Matias Sonzogni Argiro, Marc Kelly, Roan Frostwick, Adam Hall.