Scotland A Head For The Borders

Scotland A Head For The Borders

Scotland A will face the full Tongan international team at Netherdale, Galashiels, on Friday 20 November (kick-off 7.30pm).In keeping with the initiative launched by Scottish Rugby last season, admission to see the 2009 IRB Nations Cup champions take on the big hitting south-sea islanders will be FREE, though supporters are urged to turn up early to avoid disappointment.Gala-raised Scotland attack coach, Gregor Townsend – who earned the first of his 82 caps for Scotland while playing at his then life-long club, Gala – was part of the Scotland A management team at the recent IRB Nations Cup in Romania.He said: “Some of my best rugby memories come from my time at Gala and I’m delighted that Scotland A are heading back there in November.”This is a really important game for the Scotland A players to stake a claim for the Scotland game against Argentina at Murrayfield the following week. We’ve great strength in depth in a number of positions and it will be fascinating to see our players get that opportunity to play at that level. “A full Tongan international side is a force to be reckoned with for any team. One of the toughest games I ever faced in my career was against Tonga on our trip to the South Seas in 1993. Their physicality was well evident that day but as they proved in the last World Cup they are equally adept and skilful in attack.   “The Border crowd are in for a high quality international match and I’m sure they’ll give both teams a rousing welcome.”Scottish Rugby Chairman, Allan Munro, added: “It’s vital to encourage supporters to get behind the players who have the honour of representing their country and a major part of that is widening the access of the game. As a result, we have seen many well-received games across the country at various age-levels, with this latest fixture heading for Netherdale.”This match offers the many supporters in the Borders a fantastic weekend of rugby with the chance to see some of Scotland’s top talent back-to-back as Scotland A take on Tonga at Netherdale the day before Scotland face Australia in the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Test at Murrayfield.”Scotland A last ran out at Netherdale in 2002 when they beat France A 19-13 and Colin Playfair, President of Gala RFC, believes the side will enjoy a welcome return to the Scottish Borders.He said: “We’re delighted that representative rugby is coming back to the Borders and that Scottish Rugby has chosen Gala to host Scotland A and Tonga at Netherdale.”Netherdale is a great facility on and off the pitch and is certainly worthy of hosting such a great game. With some forward planning, the passionate rugby supporters in the Borders have a great weekend of rugby ahead of them.”Jim Wood, President of the Border League, added: “The chance to see Scotland A at Netherdale will certainly be well received by the Border supporters who welcome any exposure to representative rugby.”The match is great for Scottish Rugby in that Scotland’s top emerging players will be taking on a full international side in front of a very vocal and passionate Borders crowd on probably the best pitch in Scotland outside of Murrayfield.”Councillor Graham Garvie, Executive Member for Culture, Sport and Community Learning at Scottish Borders Council, said:  “I am delighted that Scottish Rugby is bringing international representative rugby matches to the Borders again.  “As always we are pleased to give every possible assistance we can to Scottish Rugby to ensure the success of these matches and their crucial contribution to the continuing development of rugby.”Councillor Vicky Davidson, Executive Member for Economic Development at Scottish Borders Council agreed. She said: “A key component of the Events Strategy for the Scottish Borders is to establish our reputation as a location for significant events.”This game will further enhance our reputation as an excellent destination, building on the success of the recent Tour of Britain.  I am very pleased that Scottish Rugby has chosen to hold this match here.  It is further evidence that we are providing the right support and infrastructure to deliver major events.”* The Scotland A management team will be announced shortlyScotland fixtures in the Borders in the last decade1999    Scotland under-18                   (5-19)               Ireland under-18, Philiphaugh1999    Scotland A                              (61-6)               Italy A, Netherdale2000    Scotland under-21                   (8-16)               France under-21, Poynder Park2001    Scotland A                              (40-25)             Argentina, Philiphaugh           2001    Scotland under-19                   (17-3)               Italy under-19, Greenyards2002    Scotland A                              (13-19)             France A, Netherdale2003    Scotland under-19                   (13-29)             England under-19, Netherdale2004    Scotland under-21                   (14-25)             England under-21, Netherdale2004    Scotland under-21                   (18-17)             Tonga under-21, Netherdale2004    Scotland under-19                   (15-12)             France under-19, Poynder Park2007    Scotland under-19                   (13-19)             Italy under-19, Greenyards2008    Scotland under-18                   (14-5)               Italy under-18, Poynder ParkOur picture shows action from the Scotland v Tonga international at Murrayfield in 2001

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