Ayr have handed young talent Stafford McDowall a starting spot in the BT Premiership final on Saturday against Melrose at The Greenyards (3pm).

Ross Curle misses out through suspension, so under-20 cap McDowall comes in at inside centre. Jamie Bova is added to the bench as outside back cover.

Three to watch

Danny McCluskey: An underrated talent in the Ayr backline, the winger is a solid player and has just returned from playing at the Hong Kong 10s.

David Armstrong: The scrum-half has been one of the star turns in the Ayr team this year and his battle with Murdo McAndrew will be interesting.

Will Bordill: Many believe he is the best number seven in the division and his experience from the pro game will be key in this one.

 What the Head Coach Calum Forrester says

 “Ayr and Melrose have enjoyed a number of great battles over recent years and it is fitting that it has come down to the wire again this season.

“Rob [Chrystie] has done an outstanding job with his squad this season shown by the run that they have been on having not lost since October.

“We have prepared well at training and over recent matches and the players are in a good place going into this weekend.

“We are fully aware of the challenge that lies ahead at The Greenyards and we will need to raise our game again for the climax of the BT Premiership this season.”


15 Grant Anderson

14 Danny McCluskey

13 Archie Russell

12 Stafford McDowall

11 Craig Gossman

10 Frazier Climo

9 David Armstrong

1 George Hunter

2 Lewis Anderson

3 Steven Longwell

4 Rob McAlpine

5 Scott Sutherland

6 Blair Macpherson

7 Will Bordill

8 Pete McCallum (C)

Subs: 16 David Young, 17 Djustice Sears-Duru, 18 Adam Prentice, 19 Gregor Henry, 20, Harry Warr, 21 Jamie Bova, 22 Richard Dalgleish.

Stafford McDowall is pictured by Scottish Rugby/SNS playing for Scotland under-20s

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