CRAIG Joiner, the 20-year-old Melrose wing, who played in the two

Tests on Scotland's tour to Argentina, returns to senior club rugby

tomorrow after more than a month's absence because of an ankle injury.

It may, however, be too late for him to retain his international place

against South Africa at Murrayfield in three weeks' time.

Scotland's team is to be named on Wednesday, but before then, Joiner

will have had only the one comeback game for Melrose against Langholm at

Milntown in the Bank of Scotland Border League. At the same time, other

international contenders will be playing in the hotter fire of district

rugby against Irish provinces, though wing cap candidates among them are

few and far between.

Melrose introduce an Australian from Manly, Trent Herring, for the

Milntown match. He had been in Manly's team for the Melrose sevens in

April, but he could travel only as a supporter because of injury.

Antipodeans continue to swarm elsewhere into Scottish rugby.

Glasgow Academicals introduce two New Zealanders, Aaron Collins and

Shane Temara, for the New Anniesland match with Watsonians, and

Stewart's Melville -- who need all the help they can get to escape from

the first division's basement -- have no fewer than three new Kiwis for

their visit to Peebles.

Collins, whose father, John, was an All Black in 1964, made his debut

for Waikato in the

38-10 win over the Lions last year, but, much more interesting in a

Scottish context, the 23-year-old centre's grandfather was born in

Blackburn, West Lothian. Consequently, even though a Maori trialist, the

newcomer does not have to count for Academicals in the limit of two

overseas players for national league matches.

Like Collins, two of the new Kiwis in the Stewart's Melville team,

Phil Hodgson and Alastair Reeves, are from Waikato. The third Inverleith

newcomer, Matt Grooby, was a replacement for the Northern Territory

Invitation XV who beat Scotland 17-16 in Darwin in the opening match of

the 1992 tour.

Hard-luck story of the week: David Hunter asked the South selectors

that he be excused from staying among the replacements for the match

against Leinster tomorrow so that he could play for Selkirk against

Hawick the same day. It would have been only his second game for the

past five weeks -- but a foot injury in training has denied him that

Border League appearance.

* TWO of last season's Scottish under-18 caps, Geoff Cadlwell, the Ayr

wing who made his under-21 district debut for Glasgow on Wednesday, and

Scott Tomlison, the Selkirk scrum half, remain eligible for that age

group. Both are among the players called to the under-18 trial at

Heriot-Watt University on Sunday (11am), as are six of last season's

schools caps -- Danny Bull, Graham Inglis, Ian Sinclair, Grant

Macfarlane, Euan MacDonald, and Michael Bannerman. Teams:

White -- R MacLaren (Highland); G D Caldwell (Ayr), A Hunter (Biggar),

N Barrett (GHK), J Boyd (Windsor); N Thomas (Portobello FP), D Short

(Heriot's FP); S Paris (Livingston), K Day (Edinburgh Academicals), G

Kerr (Berwick), C Rae (Stirling), C Conner (Colchester), G A Inglis

(Hutchesons'/Aloysians), J Merry (Colchester), I W Sinclair (GHK).

Blue -- A Morely (Windsor); D J Bull (Stewart's Melville FP), H Boyd

(Caithness), R Mitchell (Kirkcaldy), B Mason (Henley); G Kiddie (Dundee

HS FP), S Armstrong (Biggar); G McLeod (Berwick), A Neilson (Stirling),

R Watson (Glenrothes), P Millar (Dunfermline), G T Macfarlane (West), G

Walker (Hawick PSA), S Graham (Langholm), E Macdonald (Edinburgh


Reserves -- R Williams (Stewartry), G Smith (Melrose), R Steel

(Berwick), D Newman (Hawick), I Bank (Mackie FP), S M Tomlinson

(Selkirk), F Sutherland (Portobello FP), M A J Bannerman (Hawick), F

Campbell (Biggar), B Smart (Peterhead), A Hotson (Langholm), C Douglas

(King's School, Ely), A Ross (Kelso Harlequins).