Ayr Rugby Football Club

Ayr begin the defence of their BT Premiership title away to Boroughmuir on Saturday, kicking off at 3pm at Meggetland, and there is a surprise addition to the squad.

Scotland international and British and Irish Lion Ryan Grant has been named on the bench after joining the club on a short-term basis to provide front row cover.

"I've been friends with Pat MacArthur (Ayr assistant coach) for a long time, so he called me and asked if I was busy, and could I help out," says prop Grant. "Ayr is as close to a professional set-up as you can get in Scottish club rugby, and as I step out of that professional world, playing for Ayr is a nice transition. It's a high quality of rugby and they are a talented bunch of boys."

Ayr head coach Calum Forrester is delighted to welcome Grant to the club.

"It's fantastic to have someone of Ryan's quality and experience to join us over the next few weeks in the absence of Steven Longwell and George Hunter."

Grant has previously donned the pink and black shirt as part of the professional player draft, and as well as MacArthur (himself on duty on the pitch with Ayr this weekend, starting at hooker), he knows several of the players well.

It's a largely established squad for the first game of the league, but new players get their chance to shine, with Scott Lyle starting on the right wing, and Tommy Spinks making up a formidable back row with Blair Macpherson and captain Pete McCallum. New second row recruit Jonny Agnew is amongst the replacements.

"This week's training has gone well," says Forrester, "and we will need to be at our best to get the result we want at Meggetland."

Ayr

  1. Grant Anderson; 14. Scott Lyle, 13. Danny McCluskey, 12. Stafford McDowall, 11. Craig Gossman; 10. Frazier Climo, 9. David Armstrong; 1. Robbie Smith, 2. Pat MacArthur, 3. Adam Prentice; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Blair Macpherson, 7. Tommy Spinks, 8. Pete McCallum (c).

Replacements

  1. Lewis Anderson, 17. Ryan Grant, 18. Jonathan Agnew, 19. Paddy Dewhirst, 20. Jamie Bova.

Kick-off 3pm. Follow the scores live on Twitter.