A SHOULDER injury has forced Brian Robertson, the Stirling County

tight-head prop, to drop out of Glasgow's team for the McEwan's district

championship match against the Scottish Exiles at Richmond this

afternoon (2.15), writes Bill McMurtrie.

The Exiles, though, have been hit even harder with the loss of two

capped players, Lindsay Renwick, the London-Scottish wing, and Ian

Smith, the Gloucester captain.

Smith, like Robertson, has shoulder damage. Renwick has a neck strain.

Alan Watt, the Glasgow High/ Kelvinside cap, switches from left to

right to fill Glasgow's front-row gap, and Robertson's Stirling

colleague, John Gibson, who had his district debut in the corresponding

match at Richmond two years ago, returns at loose head.

Richard Cramb, equalling Chris Gray's record of 27 games for the

Exiles, takes over from Smith as captain, while Ian Morrison moves

across the back row to replace the Gloucester flanker at open side.

Neale Provan fills the vacancy there, extending the London-Scottish

representation to 11, and, filling in at centre, Mark Sly, makes his

district debut, with Don Caskie switching to Renwick's place on the left


Today's match will be the second of three that Glasgow are playing in

eight days, but the Exiles have an even tighter schedule. Beginning this

afternoon, they will play all four of their championship matches in 11


Alastair McHarg, the former international forward who has taken over

as the Exiles' coach, can see advantages in such a compact programme,

when his team have had few opportunities of coming together, to

integrate the outsiders with the large core of London Scots. His one

caveat was the possibility of niggling injuries that would need a week

to clear up, and he had to look no further than Smith's withdrawal as an


Even last Sunday was denied to McHarg and the Exiles as a time for

practice. London Scottish played a Pilkington Cup tie that day, losing

to Leicester. Instead, the Exiles had to make do with a work-out last


McHarg, however, has an advantage over his district counterparts. He

also coaches London Scottish, who provide 11 of the Exiles' team, and

from that position, understandably, he could not see that the transition

would be a problem.

After their win over the South on Saturday, Glasgow would be assured

of at least a half-share of the title if they were to beat the Exiles

today and North and Midlands on Saturday. Teams:

Scottish Exiles (London-Scottish unless stated) -- M E Appleson; N

Grecian, F J Harrold, M Sly, D W Caskie (Gloucester); R I Cramb,

captain, D B Millard; A V Sharp (Bristol), L M Mair, A P Burnell, D F

Cronin, A Reed (Bath), N G Provan, D L M McIntosh (Pontypridd), I R

Morrison. Replacements -- K Troup, N G B Edwards (Harlequins), P M Jones

(Gloucester), D C M McGavin (Bedford).

Glasgow -- D N Barrett (West of Scotland); R A G Porter, C T Simmers

(both Edinburgh Academicals), I C Jardine, K M Logan (both Stirling

County); G M Breckenridge (GHK), F H Stott (West of Scotland); J T

Gibson, K D McKenzie (both Stirling County), A G J Watt, E Murphy, D S

Munro, F D Wallace, captain (all GHK), J Brough, B Ireland (both

Stirling County). Replacements -- D R McKee (West of Scotland), S M

Simmers, G T Mackay (both Glasgow Academicals), S Blair (West of