League rugby swings back into action tomorrow, giving club supporters the chance to get behind their local teams after the hurly burly of the Six Nations.
Aberdeen Grammar’s game in the Borders, where they meet Gala, is the pick of an attractive selection of games.
It throws together two of the sides desperate to claim a place in the top six of National League 1, both keen to secure a position in what is likely to be part of the second tier of Scottish club rugby next season.
Failure to gain a place would effectively leave either side scrambling to avoid the indignity of what would feel like relegation, although as yet the SRU have not revealed the structure for clubs in this division, or indeed any other league set-up.
Grammar head coach Ali O’Connor was not interested in the politics of the game and said: “As far as we are concerned Saturday is all about us getting as high a place in the league at the expense of a team who are in the same position as us.
“It’s not a must-win game, although victory at Netherdale would make life easier in the run-in.
“We have made some adjustments in the back division, but the pack who have served us so well this season will be pretty much the same.
“It’s a great place to play, with a well-manicured playing surface.
“We won down there last season, so why not again when it matters?”
In a surprise move Ciaran Woods moves to stand-off from his normal position of scrum-half.
There is also a new pairing at centre where Sean Mills and Murray Mitchell team up.
At Countesswells, National League 3 leaders Gordonians will enjoy home comforts against Perthshire, one of the league’s strugglers.
With five games to play, the supporters of the Aberdeen side will view it as a maximum points opportunity.
Not that head coach Ryan Morrice shares their presumption. He said: “We are keen to get back in action after losing our last game away to West of Scotland.
“This is a chance to get back on track and ease ourselves into the home straight.
“But we certainly won’t be taking anything for granted.
“We have a full-strength team out, including the return of Peter Johnston to the pack where he gives us more attacking options.”
The main games in Caley 2 North involve promotion-seeking side Mackie FPs – who are at Rubislaw, where they meet Grammar 2nds – and Garioch who are in Elgin where they meet Moray.
Aberdeenshire can close in on the Caley 3 North title away to Aberdeen University Medics.
Peterhead, who have already won the Caley 4 North title, will be presented with the trophy after their game at Deeside by Bob Richmond, the area representative of the SRU.