Welcome to the programme for our Championship match against our old friends from London Scottish.
Typically at this time of year, we would be getting close to half-way through the league campaign. However, the late start to the season and the inclusion of all the Cup pool games before Christmas means that we are only 6 games in to the current league matches, so there is a lot more rugby left to play this season!
Nonetheless, the Reds will be fairly happy with their start. Having played 6 games, the only two they have not won were both away at Newcastle and Ealing, probably everybody's favourites to finish first and second this season. Sitting equal third on 20 points, just one point behind Ealing is at great place to be at this point.
The Exiles have had a mixed start in the league winning 2, drawing 1 and losing 3 including a close home tie against Newcastle. They sit eighth on 13 points. We sincerely welcome their players, coaches, officials and supporters to the Stade.
It just leaves me to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year. See you back here for the Pirates game on the 18th January!
Come on you Reds!!
London Scottish are currently eighth in the Greene King IPA Championship, having won two and drawn one of their six league matches to date.
The Exiles began the season with a hat-trick of Championship Cup wins, eventually winning four of their pool games to qualify for the knock-out stages as the sixth-ranked side for the quarter-finals, where they will travel to Newcastle Falcons.
The Falcons were the Scots’ first league opponents this term, and were made to fight all the way for their 13-17 win at the Athletic Ground. The tight results continued with a 17-14 defeat at Nottingham and a 6-6 home draw with Ampthill, before Yorkshire Carnegie were defeated by 30-10.
The 44-17 reverse at Hartpury was the Exiles’ most disappointing display of the season, but in their most recent game they achieved a hard-fought 25-24 win over Cornish Pirates.
The Exiles and the Reds have met on 18 occasions at this level since 2012; the Reds lead 10-8 overall, although in league matches the Scots hold an 8-6 advantage. Last season the Reds won a brace of cup ties, but lost both Championship encounters: 27-24 at the RAG and 14-24 on home turf.
London Scottish FC was formed in Mackay’s Tavern in the City of London on April 10th 1878. The club adopted the colours they still wear to this day, albeit with fewer sponsors’ logos, and in the first season were captained by their Chairman, Begbie Gibson. The first season featured 15 matches, and three of the opposing clubs are still in existence – Wasps, Twickenham and Guy’s Hospital.
Scottish have been based at the Athletic Ground in Richmond since 1894 and have produced in the region of 220 Scottish Internationals and four Lions captains (Bill MacLagan in the late 19th century, David Bedell-Sivright in 1903/4, Mike Campbell-Lamerton in 1966 and Gavin Hastings in 1993).
The club began the league era in 1987 at level two, and by 1998 were a full-professional unit playing in the Premiership. However this was also the season that the professional club went into administration, necessitating a year out while the original club was reformed and placed into Herts/ Middlesex Division One (level nine) in 2000.
Four successive promotions kick-started the revival, and in 2011 the Exiles returned to level two, where they have spent the past eight-and-a-half seasons. For the majority of this period they have finished in mid-table, the exceptions being a march to the play-offs through finishing third in 2014/15, and a low mark of 11th in 2017/18.
Head Coach Graham Steadman joined the club as Backs/Attack Coach in summer 2018 before being promoted to the top job 12 months later.
Meet the opposition
Born in Toowoomba, Australia, Matt Gordon represented Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship between 2015-18 before making the switch to Brisbane City last year where he played alongside the likes of Wallaby players Quade Cooper and Carmichael Hunt.
An English-qualified player through his grandfather, Gordon joined Scottish ahead of this season from Queensland Premier Rugby side Easts Tigers where he was club captain.
Already nicknamed Flash Gordon after his scoring antics against Newcastle Falcons in the opening weekend of the League and Yorkshire Carnegie in the Championship Cup, the outside centre is a dynamic ball career with quick feet, who makes dents in the opposition defence.
Hooker James Malcolm made the move to the capital ahead of this season from Championship rivals Doncaster Knights where he played for one season.
The former Scotland U20 began his rugby career in Ayr and was part of the Scottish Rugby Elite Development Programme, before signing his first professional contract with Glasgow Warriors in 2016.
Two years later he earnt himself a call up to the Scotland senior squad in preparation for their Six Nations campaign.
Malcolm went over to score his first try in a Scottish shirt against Yorkshire Carnegie at the RAG in the Scots’ third League game of the season. With Ollie Adams back to full fitness and Billy Harding also jostling for the same position, Malcolm has made his presence well known and has settled in well to the number two jersey.