Rugby union: Currie need no favours

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Currie . . . .20

Jed-Forest. . .6

CURRIE could be looked upon as Scotland's Orrell in that they too have come from humble origins to emerge as a real force in their division.

In this success, Currie scored their first pushover try since entering the First Division three seasons ago and, with relegation fears now banished, the talk is of how long it will be before they win the title.

Ally Donaldson, a fast-maturing stand-off, who came on as a replacement 20 minutes into the recent Scotland trial to give an accomplished display, used possession sagely against Jed. After the game one of Jed's replacements, Roy Laidlaw, capped 44 times at scrum-half in the 1980s and now a Scottish Rugby Union development officer, assessed the expectations in the Currie clubhouse.

'In the past Jed have finished high enough up the table to have taken the title had they managed just one more score in each of two games. So Currie are capable of mounting a challenge.

'The standard of club rugby in Scotland is advancing significantly mainly through the quality of the coaching and Currie are certainly well coached by Graham Hogg.'

Laidlaw, 39, had found himself put on standby by Jed when Gary Armstrong complained of a hamstring niggle before the match. Armstrong came through unscathed even on a quagmire of a pitch presenting a hidden threat to strained muscles.

Scotland's team to face France in Paris on 6 February will be named on Wednesday, but a major doubt surrounds centre Graham Shiel. He retired with a cheekbone injury midway through Melrose's 35-5 win over Selkirk which keeps them firmly on top of the table with three games remaining.

Currie: Tries Mack, Robertson; Conversions Donaldson 2; Penalties Donaldson 2. Jed Forest: Penalties McKechnie 2.

Currie: D Wilson; A Robertson, M Te Whaiti, G Millington, M Tonkin; A Donaldson (capt), R Dickson; P Calder, G Ellis, D Clark, M Blair, C Carson, B Ward (R McCrodden, 18), D Mack, I Russell.

Jed-Forest: K Amos; S Shaw, H Hogg, A Douglas, A McIlroy; G McKechnie, G Armstrong; N McIlroy (capt), C K Brown, R Johnston, J Pringle, M Pringle, C J Brown, K Liddle, K Armstrong.

Referee: K Macartney (Hawick).