EDINBURGH Wanderers and Watsonians kick off the first round of rugby's

Alloa Brewery Cup at Murrayfield this evening.

Watsonians hope that Murray Rudkin, the Edinburgh lock, will be

available despite exams, though they will be without the Hastings

brothers, Gavin and Scott, as well as their fellow cap, Andrew Ker.

Wanderers recall David Stewart at centre and John Godfrey at scrum

half and Jeremy Jowett stays on at wing forward after his belated

call-up for the league match against Preston Lodge on Saturday. The

Merchiston former pupil was drafted in for the Pennypit match when Craig

Samson broke a cheekbone in training.

* MELROSE are to go ahead with their Bank of Scotland Border League

match against Hawick at Mansfield Park tomorrow evening even though two

of the Redpath brothers, Craig and Bryan, have been added to the

Greenyards club's list of absentees.

The Redpaths are unavailable as they are stand-by replacements for

Scotland's A international against France in Aberdeen on Saturday.

If Melrose win the Mansfield match they will be Border champions for

the fourth successive year, adding to their national league record of

three titles in four seasons.

Three other Melrose regulars, including two caps, Craig Chalmers and

Carl Hogg, are unavailable. Chalmers broke an arm in the Twickenham

international 10 days ago, Hogg is on Scotland's sevens tour, and Gary

Parker, the club's top scorer, has damaged neck muscles. Hawick, though,

will be just as much under strength.

* DAVE Barrett shot to the top of Scottish rugby's points-scoring

table with his try, five conversions, and four penalty goals in helping

West of Scotland to win the second-division title with a 52-6 victory

over Grangemouth on Saturday. His 27 points took his season's tally to

310, five more than the previous leader, Gary Parker. Leading scorers:

Points -- Dave Barrett (West) 310; Gary Parker (Melrose) 305; Ally

Donaldson (Currie) 263; Murray Thomson (Stewart's Melville FP) 236;

Murry Walker (Boroughmuir) 188; George Breckenridge (GHK) 187; Andy Hay

(Ayr) 182; Kenny Halliday (Grangemouth) 178; Gregor McKechnie

(Jed-Forest) 176; Graeme Aitchison (Kelso), Clifford Livingstone

(Musselburgh) 175 each; Erin Cossey (Clarkston) 172.

Tries -- Dale Lyon (Grangemouth) 22; Gary Parker (Melrose) 20; Keith

Suddon (Hawick) 19; John MacKenzie (Stewart's Melville FP) 18; Richard

Porter (Edinburgh Academicals) 17; David Drysdale (Wigtownshire), Mark

Moncrieff (Gala) 16 each; John Price (Clarkston), Robbie Smith

(Boroughmuir) 15 each.

* CLARKSTON will be without Carlo Orsi for the remainder of the season

as he has been suspended for 12 weeks by the Scottish Rugby Union. The

Glasgow under-21 scrum half was sent off from Clarkston's under-19 match

against an Argentinian touring team, Los Tilos, last month, the second

time that he had been dismissed within a year.

* SEAN Lineen, Boroughmuir's former international centre, is to make

the draw for the Tennents Midland Cup in the Howe of Fife clubrooms at

Cupar this evening.

* THE draw for Heriot's under-21 sevens trophy at Goldenacre on

Sunday, March 28 (first match 1pm), resulted:

Royal High v Edinburgh Wanderers, Currie v Corstorphine,

Hillhead/Jordanhill v Edinburgh Academicals, Hawick v Penicuik,

Musselburgh (last year's plate winners) v Haddington, Kelso v Ross High,

GHK v Heriot's FP, Boroughmuir v Dunfermline, Aberdeen University v

President's VII, Preston Lodge FP v Peebles, Trinity Academicals v Gala

(holders), Stirling County v Dundee HS FP, Jed-Forest v Stewart's

Melville FP, Selkirk v Langholm, Melrose v Kirkcaldy, Watsonians v

Glasgow Academicals.

Today's rugby