One player Boroughmuir will have already targetted as a danger man in the Melrose side for Saturday's Tennents Cup final is Scotland wing Derek Stark.

Having played four seasons with Boroughmuir, Stark is now completing his first season with the Border club and is hoping to add a share in the other major Tennents trophy to his list of achievements.

Stark himself knows the strengths of his old side and as a consequence respects his former club. ''Boroughmuir's pack is going great guns just now and they have these two old war horses, Sean Lineen and Doug Wyllie, who have again proved that they can compete at the highest level. And don't forget that they beat Melrose twice last season in the league,'' observed Stark.

For former track sprinter Stark the finely manicured Murrayfield turf should provide the perfect conditions to demonstrate his pace on the end of an expansive game from Melrose.

He certainly showed the value of sheer pace when he scorched past the redoubtable Simon Geohegan to celebrate his Scotland debut with a superb try. Thereafter, Stark played in all of Scotland's championship matches in the 1993 season, then went out of favour, only to return for the tour of New Zealand last summer.

''I felt I played well in New Zealand and was disappointed when I was not picked for the Tests. However, there was a bonus in coming on as a replacement in the second Test,'' reflected Stark whose game has benefited from being a full-time professional.

''As a contracted player I can concentrate totally on rugby. I reckon I have improved in a number of areas. For example, whereas before I was able to do just one fast sprint I can now do repetition runs at pace.

''I'm also doing a lot more weight training. It's all monitored and doing it as part of a group makes it much easier.''

Now 30, Stark has shaken off the suggestion that he is merely a sprinter in rugby boots. As an exponent of the modern game he has developed a sharp sense of how to vary the angle of his running and in defence he is much more aware of the role the back three now have to assume.

All that will be put to the test at Murrayfield on Saturday, where Stark will play opposite the rising Boroughmuir star, Ally McLean.

''Ally has great potential. He is strong and fast, he has good hands and he can tackle. I think he could go all the way,'' said Stark, who can only hope that his young opponent does not choose the cup final to stake a claim for personal promotion.