IAN Russell, the former Glasgow High/Kelvinside coach, has taken

charge of the Scottish Exiles' under-21 team, and he has an ironic start

to his new role. The young Exiles' first game in this season's under-21

championship will be against his old district, Glasgow, at the London

Welsh ground, Old Deer Park, tomorrow (kick-off noon).

Russell used to coach the Glasgow under-21 team, and one of his former

Old Anniesland players, David Hogg, will be in direct opposition. Hogg,

now in the GHK coaching team, is helping Sandy Service with the Glasgow


Ian Muir, manager of the Exiles' under-21 team, explained that

Russell's appointment was designed to give the youngsters the direction

that was missing when they were beaten by their Irish and Welsh

counterparts in the under-21 triangular tournament earlier this month.

It was only natural that the Exiles should turn eventually to a

Scottish coach who has been earning plaudits in the hard school of

English club rugby's first division. The former Kelvinside Academicals

and Glasgow flanker has been working in Northampton's highly respected

coaching squad along with Wayne Shelford, former captain of New Zealand.

David McGavin, the Bedford hooker who played for Scotland's under-19

team last season, could not be considered for the young Exiles as he has

been promoted as a replacement for the equivalent senior district match

at Richmond the same day (2.15). The original reserve hooker, Logan

Mair, takes over in the team from his London Scottish colleague, Brian

Gilchrist, who was injured during the Pilkington Cup defeat by Leicester

on Sunday.

John Miller, Ronnie Eriksson, Daniel Eddie, and Mark Craig, all

injured, also could not be considered for the Old Deer Park match. The

Exiles, however, have still been able to call on six of last season's

team as well as two other under-19 caps, Patrick Grant and Fraser

Wiseman, and an under-18 internationalist, Mickey Dungait, the Morpeth

scrum half.

Muir is confident that, with Russell's backing, the young Exiles have

a strong team with five who have experience of rugby in the first or

second division of the Courage league. One of them, Gavin Fraser, though

chosen at full back for tomorrow, was left wing in the Waterloo team who

sprang the weekend's Pilkington upset by beating Bath.

Tom Smith, the Dundee High prop who was young Exiles' loose head last

season, returns to the North and Midlands team for the under-21 district

championship match against Glasgow at Burnbrae on Saturday (11am). So

does his Dundee colleague, David Hamilton, who displaces Richard Thom,

stand-off in the team beaten by Edinburgh at the weekend.

Sandy Stirling joins his Dunfermline clubmate, Willie Shirtliff, at

centre, and Craig Macdonald, the Kirkcaldy centre who replaced the

injured Ally Graham during the Edinburgh match, stays on in the back

row. Graham returns, and Duncan Logan drops out, as do Christian Bruce

and David Reid. Teams:

Exiles Under-21 -- G Fraser (Waterloo); J W K Anderson (Loughborough),

G Fleming (Tynedale), M Kemp (West London Institute), R Hoffman (London

Scottish); C Waggett (Northampton), M Dungait (Morpeth); J Baird (London

Scottish), J Moyes (Loughborough), F A Wiseman (West London Institute),

D Johnson (London Scottish), captain, J Whittaker (Nottingham), R McLean

(Moseley), R Thomson (Northampton), P J Grant (Orlean). Replacement - E

Hunter (Harlequins), D W Hodge (Durham University), J H Kayne

(Nottingham), R Gardiner (Southampton University), N Rayner

(Northampton), M Rutherford (Alnwick).

North and Midlands Under-21 -- P W B Flockhart (Aberdeen University);

S Whyte (Gordonians), W Shirtliff, A Stirling (both Dunfermline), N C

Renton (Edinburgh Academicals); D R Hamilton (Dundee HS FP), R Easson

(Howe of Fife); T J Smith (Dundee HS FP), D LTimms (Dunfermline),

captain, A Penman (Hillfoots), J Syme (Dunfermline), D Ridland (St

Andrews University), C J Macdonald (Kirkcaldy), A J Graham, C Allan

(both Dundee HS FP).