SOUTHERN KNIGHTS CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED
Melrose Rugby today announce the captain and co-vice captains to lead the Southern Knights in the Super6 semi-professional league.
Centre, Craig Jackson, will lead the team in the competition that commences in November.
Jackson will be joined in the leadership group by co-vice captains, Grant Shiells and Fraser Thomson.
Jackson began his rugby career at Melrose as a rugby mad 5-year-old progressing through the youth rugby set up to lift the Ladies Cup at Melrose Sevens as a fresh faced eighteen-year-old in 2011, before earning Scotland U20s caps in the age grade 6 Nations and World Cup. Although Jackson left the area for further education his rugby career blossomed at Hartpury College and London Scottish before returning to his hometown club and has now played over 100 games for Melrose whilst earning three Scotland Club International caps and a call up to the Scotland 7s 2018 World Cup squad in San Francisco, eight years after his first cap in 2010
On his appointment as captain, Jackson said: “I feel privileged to captain the Southern Knights in the Super6 competition. I’m very excited about being involved in the leadership group in this exciting new competition.
“The new league structure will bring a new challenge, and one that we are looking forward to. Our player and coaching groups are looking strong with a good mix of experience and youth.
“The boys are raring to get into training in September.”
Taking up one of the co-vice captaincy roles is fullback, Fraser Thomson. Thomson, who came through Gala’s youth system has played over 200 games for the club scoring over 115 tries in the process. Known for his lethal step and attacking flair, he earned a professional contract with Glasgow Warriors in the 2012 and scored the winning try against Newport Gwent Dragons to seal the league record in for the Warriors. Thomson returned to club rugby, cementing himself as part of the squad at Melrose, and earning himself 15 Club International caps as well as captaining the squad to win the Dalriada Cup over their Irish counter parts in 2018.
Thomson said: “It’s an exciting time for rugby in the Borders. I am honoured to be part of the Southern Knights’ leadership group. What we’ve built at Melrose is special. The new branding looks great and there’s a terrific buzz around the club. I can’t wait to see both familiar and new faces when we start training in September.”
Loosehead prop Grant Shiells, completes the leadership group as the second co-vice captain. After an illustrious career in the front row. Shiells’ rugby talent was spotted at his hometown club of Kelso which earned him the opportunity to play for Newcastle Falcons, Edinburgh and Bath before making the move back to the Borders for his young family, in 2017, to play for Melrose.
Shiells, a Scotland A cap, explains how the changes at the club have made the players more excited to get started. He said: “I can’t wait for the season to start. The coming season has brought lots of changes to the club both on and off the pitch. The branding is looking on point and it’s great to see the progress in the 3G pitch.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved in the leadership group at the Southern Knights. With a few new recruits adding to an already very strong group, the squad is looking in great shape.”
On the announcement of the captains and the co-vice captains, head coach Rob Chrystie said: “We are delighted to announce Craig Jackson as the Southern Knights’ captain for 2019 – 2020. As well as being an outstanding player, Craig has been an influential leader both on and off the park since returning from his time down south.
“Fraser and Grant as co-vice captains have years of experience behind them. Along with Craig they will form an inspirational leadership group that will set the highest standards for all Southern Knights’ players.”
Congratulations to Craig, Fraser and Grant on their appointments!
The Southern Knights play their first league game on Saturday 9 November against Watsonians at The Greenyards