SOUTH'S rugby selectors have done a cut-and-paste job after the 44-26

defeat by Ulster at Ravenhill three days ago. Four changes in personnel

and a like number of positional switches have been decreed for the match

against Leinster at the Greenyards on Saturday, and Jim Hay, Hawick's

captain, has taken over the helm.

Even Gary Parker, the Melrose wing who scored 21 points including two

tries against Ulster, has gone. So has Gary Isaac, the Gala prop who

made considerable progress in playing in all three non-cap Tests on

Scotland's tour in the South Pacific during the summer. His Gala

colleague, Brian Swan, drops out as centre.

Millan Browne has displaced Isaac as loose head, deserved promotion

from the district's under-21 team for the 20-year-old Melrose prop who

had seven games for the Scottish Schools between 1989 and 1991 as the

first cap at that level from Stranraer Academy.

Elsewhere, Tony Stanger returns on the right wing after the

Barbarians' game against the All Blacks, Scott Nichol resumes at centre

after injury, and Adam Roxburgh is back in the breakaway trio because of

Derek Turnbull's cracked rib. Roxburgh played in the 26-14 win over

Leinster last season, the most recent of the Kelso forward's four games

for South.

Turnbull, Hawick's international flanker, was injured during the

Ulster match, causing the South's only enforced change. His fellow cap,

Craig Chalmers, was not considered because of his leg injury during

Scotland's match against New Zealand last month.

Carl Hogg switches to blind side to replace Turnbull, with Roxburgh at

No.8. Rodney Pow displaces Parker by moving to the left wing to allow

Stanger back on the right, and the midfield trio has been shuffled with

Nichol's return as inside centre, Graham Shiel's transfer to stand-off,

and Gregor Townsend's switch to outside in place of the unfortunate


Hay, Scottish rugby's Team Sport co-ordinator, takes over as captain

from Robbie Brown, the Melrose lock who led the South to the district

title in October but also in the 84-5 loss to the All Blacks and the

Belfast defeat. It will be the Hawick hooker's first game in command of

the district team, though he signalled his leadership ability when he

captained the Scotland Development XV in a stirring game against the All

Blacks last month.

Iain Fairley has stepped up to be back-up scrum half for Saturday even

though he is only second choice to Phil Dunkley in the Kelso selectors'

book. The youngster has made a favourable impression with his sharp

service and liveliness on the break in the under-21 district


Leinster's selectors have been even more drastic after their team's

13-8 defeat by Edinburgh at the weekend. No fewer than Eight changes in

personnel have been made from the XV who finished that game, though

those include the return of four caps, Vince C unningham, Phil Lawlor,

Brian Rigney, and Nick Popplewell.

South XV: M Dods (Gala); A G Stanger (Hawick), G P J Townsend (Gala),

S A Nichol, R L Pow (both Selkirk); A G Shiel, B W Redpath; M G Browne

(all Melrose), J A Hay (Hawick), captain, J R S McColm (Selkirk), R R

Brown, G W Weir, C D Hogg (all Melrose), A J Roxburgh (Kelso), J P Amos

(Gala). Replacements -- D W Hunter (Selkirk), B A J Swan (Gala), I T

Fairley (Kelso), G R Isaac (Gala), K W Barrie (Jed-Forest).

* ANY talk of an imminent return to international rugby by Gary

Armstrong has been silenced by the Jed-Forest scrum half's injury while

he was playing for the Barbarians against the All Blacks at Cardiff on


Because of rib-cartilage damage he will probably not be back in rugby

until early next month, too late for Scotland's selectors to consider

him for the Cardiff match against Wales on January 15.

When injured on Saturday, Armstrong was playing only his second game

at scrum half after he had abandoned his self-imposed exile among Jed's

outside backs.

Another of Scotland's international scrum halves, Andy Nicol, has been

making a remarkably swift recovery from his severe neck-muscle strain

early in the North and Midlands match against Connacht on Saturday.

It will, however, be later this week before the Dundee High captain

will knows if he will be fit to play for the district XV against Munster

on Saturday in Cork.