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Trio of forwards look ahead to 10s

Forwards Ben Johnston, Shaun MacDonald and Jake Eaglesham will be part of the PROJECX Waterboys squad at the Hong Kong 10s next week.

Marr back-row Ben, 21, was named BT National League Division One player of the year at the Scottish Rugby Awards at the end of last season.

On Saturday the Fullarton Park men took a big step towards their BT Premiership dream with a 76-0 victory over Musselburgh.

“My career highlights include representing Scotland at under-18 level in the FIRA championship, winning the Scottish Schools Plate and also winning National One player of the year, but to get to the top flight with Marr would top everything,” Ben said.

“It’s been a great season for Marr this year and we know promotion is within touching distance.

“However we don’t want to seem complacent and we’re fully aware of how easy it would be to slip at the last hurdle. We’ve got a really strong setup down at Marr and the results this season are down to the hard work and commitment shown by both the players and coaching staff alike.

“A lot of us have grown up together and we put everything in when we pull on a Marr shirt.

“As for the Hong Kong trip, well it will be my first experience with the Waterboys.

“It’s a great honour to be selected and a fantastic team to be a part of. Although, it did come as a bit of a shock only getting the call up less than two weeks before we’re departing. However, I was absolutely ecstatic to receive the invite.

“I don’t have much experience in the 10s game, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“We have a great team going, made up of some of the best players from the Premiership and National One so hopefully we can go over there and showcase the high quality of Scottish club rugby.

“Hong Kong offers some of the best sevens and 10s tournaments in the world, with the standard of rugby being exceptionally high, but with the team we’ve got I’m confident we can go over there and get a positive result.

“With some of the pace the Waterboys possess out wide I think we’ll be aiming to play a high tempo attacking style. We’ve got a good mix of pace and power, so hopefully we can score some good tries and play an exciting brand of rugby.”

Stirling County back-row Shaun, 22, has had a consistent season in the BT Premiership and is looking forward to the trip.

“It is a great honour to be selected, I am very excited to be going to Hong Kong it is a place I have always wanted to visit, but I never imagined I would get to do this while playing rugby,” he stated.

“I have not played much 10s, however I have played my fair share of sevens, from competing in the Youth Commonwealth Games with Scotland to playing in tournaments with Stirling such as the Melrose Sevens.

“This Waterboys team is made up of excellent rugby players who I play against each week, pulling these kind of players together can create a very unique and talented squad which I am excited to see in action.

“We have great mixture of talent, from players who are fast and agile to others who are quick and powerful. We have very experienced players such as Fraser Lyle who can lead us on the pitch.”

And 25-year-old Jake of Falkirk said:  “I am delighted to be picked to head over to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong 10s is a tournament with a lot of buzz around it so to be over there and taking part with The Waterboys will be brilliant.

“I haven’t played 10s since I lived in Australia so looking forward to getting back into it again. The Waterboys are backed by some great guys and there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that we as players benefit from.”

Having originally played for Ross Sutherland, Jake has since played in Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and London and is now back in Scotland with Falkirk.

“My rugby highlight has to be captaining Waitohi in New Zealand – for such a small town they’ve got some of the best rugby players I’ve ever played with,” he said.

“In Hong Kong I’m hoping we’ll see a fast, attacking style of rugby with an abundance of tries, a high work rate with boys supporting each other and some big hits in open play.”

The PROJECX Waterboys are in Pool A at the Hong Kong 10s with last year’s winners Penguins International, the Irish Vikings and the Devils Advocate Dragons.

 Once again PROJECX, International Power and Water Investments, JA Resorts & Hotels, Ace Property Management , Sarcogent Solutions and Ethigen are supporting the team. They also have a range of new sponsors including Kyloe Restaurant (Signature Pubs), Orion Systems, St. Julians Advisory, 4 Navitas and Bureau.

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