Rugby Union: Scottish RU sign up Metcalfe until the 1999 World Cup

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Player contracts may be the insurmountable stumbling block to rugby harmony in England, but the most talked-about prospect in the Scottish game knows exactly which side his bread is buttered. Glenn Metcalfe, a New Zealand- born full-back who can also play on the wing, has signed a deal with the Scottish Rugby Union taking him through to the end of next year's World Cup.

Metcalfe, who pitched up at Glasgow Hawks this season via Glasgow Academicals andWaikato, made his Scotland A debut against the Welsh second-string a week ago and cut enough ice to lure big-spending Newcastle. However, his union deal takes him out of reach of any English Premiership side for another 18 months.

Melrose, meanwhile, will take a decisive step towards a third successive Tennent's Premiership title if they win their first play-off match against West of Scotland at Burnbrae today.Bryan Redpath, Scott Nichol, Scott Aitken, Graham Shiel and Nick Broughton are on their casualty list, but Craig Chalmers and Rowen Shepherd return from international duty and with a 49-7 victory over West already in the bag, the tea-leaves point to another Borders triumph.