Reid's regal form underlines claims

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The Independent Online

Boroughmuir 31 Melrose 15

Schools rugby to the Five Nations' Championship is a big jump even if you are a royal whose mother happens to be patron of the Scottish Rugby Union. Some of Scotland's most vivid imaginations have, nevertheless, been on overdrive mapping out a successful rugby career for noted Gordonstoun back-rower Peter Phillips since his inclusion in a public schools representative squad this week. There is a vacancy higher up, after all, caused by Iain Morrison's international retirement and Master Phillips has been playing for so long that back in first form he captained a Gordonstoun team and was asked - allegedly and memorably - by the referee to call "tails or granny?"

Bill Hogg, SRU Secretary, has even been drawn into the debate. Hogg acknowledged that while Master Phillips has a different kind of blue blood with no traditional qualification that need not be a stumbling block on grounds that there is always an exception to every rule.

Such flexibility in an organisation which knows where it is bread is buttered can only be admired. The case for Peter Phillips finally falls down though when it is noted that Stu Reid is playing exceptionally well for Boroughmuir in roughly the same role.

Reid again underlined claims to a debut cap in a victory that enabled Boroughmuir to leapfrog Melrose at the top of the table. The distinguished ex-internationalist Andy Irvine has labelled Reid "another David Leslie" in deference to the 1984 European player of the year and predicts no difficulties in switching from No 8 to the flank if chosen to face Western Samoa next month.

Reid has learned the hard way not to hold out too much hope having come so close in the past. But there is surely extra incentive to maintain current form with Boroughmuir now one point clear with five games remaining.

Boroughmuir: Tries Tukalo, Reid, Beveridge; Conversions Easson 2; Penalties Easson 3, Knight. Melrose: Penalties Parker 5.

Boroughmuir: D Macrae; D Stark, D Laird, S Lineen, I Tukalo; B Easson (temporarily replaced by A Knight), G Beveridge; G Wilson, N Dickson, P Wright, capt, D Burns, D George, A Cadzow, S Reid, G Dickson.

Melrose: D Bain; G Parker, J Turnbull, G Shiel, A Purves; C Chalmers, B Redpath, capt (A Redburn, 40); M Browne, S Scott, D Lunn, R Brown, G Weir, S Aitken, I Feaunati, N Broughton.

Referee: I Ramage (Berwick).