fove r

Injury keeps DODDIE WEIR

out of Scotland's rugby

match against South Africa, but the British Lion saw the

opposition up close this summer. Words: Lorin McDougall

A back injury has ruled Doddie Weir out of this month‘s encounter with South Africa. but as he focuses on getting ready for next spring‘s Five Nations matches. the mere mention of the world champions might also have caused a few twinges in his knee.

Back in June. barely four matches into the British Lions tour of South Africa. the 27-year-old lock was deliberately kicked on the leg and had to come home. Missing out on an almost certain Test place was bad enough. but it seemed that was the least of his worries. Initially. it was feared that the 6ft 7in giant had suffered a career-threatening injury. ‘I never thought it was that. unlike the press and the journalists.‘ says the Edinburgh-born player. who returned to action in August. ‘There are no problems with my knee and there’s no cause for concern at the moment.

Despite the sheer thuggery of the incident. Doddie whose real name is

George remains typically jovial.

Indeed. the swiftness of his recovery. following expert treatment from various specialists and physio Steve Black. has persuaded him not to take legal action against his attacker. Marius Bosman. although i he admits ‘my knee will never be as strong as it was


While Doddie flew back frotn South Africa. his Lions

E colleagues recorded a famous

E Springboks.

Series victory over the but many. including countrymen Rob

Wainwright and Tom Smith.

are now paying the price.

couple of the Irish boys have all been injured recently.‘ says the former Melrose star. now with Newcastle. ‘It was a very tough tour. both mentally ; and physically. although l missed the Test matches which were the most intense part of it. The Lions were under a huge amount of pressure and that takes a lot out of you. Many are now injured and some may

‘Myself. Rob. Tom and a

be a bit jaded.‘

Ironically. it would appear that the losers have benefited more from the events of last summer. ‘It‘s a fresh start for the South Africans. and they‘re now rebuilding.‘ suggests the veteran of 45 internationals ; since his debut in I990. ‘They have a new coach with

Doddie Weir: 'my knee will never be as strong as it was before'

new ideas. and these seem to be working. They had two good results against France recently. so the players are clearly responding to what Nick Mallett is saying. Without doubt. they‘re back on top at the moment after a pretty poor summer. They‘ve come to

the British Isles to put the record straight. but after

’South Africa can compete trier-iii any country in the. world, out we can also do that on our day, when the weather and other

conditions are. right and everything clicks? I,)()titlitf\ftieit

doing so well against France. they might cotne to Scotland thinking it‘ll be easy. That‘s when we’re at our best.‘

Alas. precious few Scots were at their best when Australia visited Murrayfield in November. Weir's absence left John Eales unopposed in

the lineout. and after an even first half. the Wallabies scored 29 points without reply in the second.

‘If you‘re beaten when you play well. it's disappointing. but there's extra disappointment when you play badly.‘ says Weir. ‘The lads let themselves and a lot of other people down. and they‘re all desperate for a chance to correct their mistakes. South

Africa can compete with any country in the world.

btit we can also do that on our day. when the weather and other conditions are right and everything clicks.‘

Scotland play South Africa at Murrayfield, Edinburgh on Sat 6 Dec at 3pm, broadcast live on BBC1.

preview SPORT


Events are listed alphabetically by

sport, then by da . Fixtures are correct at time o publication, but ' may be affected by weather. Sports

listings compiled by Brian Donaldson.




Aberdeen v St Johnstone Pittodrie

Stadium. Pittodrie Street. Aberdeen. 3pm. Dundee United v Dunfermline Tannadiee Park. Tannadice Street. Dundee. 3pm.

Kilmarnock V Celtic Rugby Park. Rugby Road. Kilmarnock. 3 int.


Airdrie v Dundee Broatlwtxxl Stadium.


Falkirk v Particlt Thistle Brockville I’ark. llope Street. l:;lIRll'k. 3pm.

Raith Rovers v Morton Stat'k's Park. I’ratt Street. Kirkcaldy. 3pm.

St Mirren v Hamilton Accies St Mirren Park. Love Street. l’aisley. 3pm. Stirling Albion v Ayr United Forthbank Stadium. Springkerse Industrial Iistate. Stirling. 3 mi.


Cowdenbeath v Montrose (‘entral I’ark. Cowdenbeath. 3pm.

East Fife v Stranraer Bayview Park. Methil. 3pm.

Fraserburgh v Clyde Bellslea Park. I‘raset'burgh. 3pm.

lnverness Caledonian Thistle v Whitehill Welfare Caledonian Stadium. lnverness. 3pm.


International Women’s Futsal Tournament Kelvin Ilall International Sports A term. Argyle Street. Glasgow. Illatn. A joint collaboration between Glasgow (‘ity (‘ouncil and the Scottish Women‘s Football Association. sees some of the world's top clubs coming to Scotland for a five-a-side competition. Stars from Germany. Portugal. Russia. llollattd. Norway and lingland will be matching their skills with the best ofour home-grown talent. Tickets will be going like the proverbial hotcakes. so get along to the Kelvin Ilall or give the credit card Itotline a call now on ()Hl 337 l806. Sunday 7


Hearts v Motherwell 'I'ynecastle Park. Gorgie Road. lidinburgh. 3pm. Rangers v Hibs lhrox Stadium. lidnuston Drive. Glasgow. 3pm.

: Saturday 13


Celtic v Hearts (‘eltic Park. Kerrydale Street. Glasgow. 3pm.

Dunfermline v Rangers liast End l’ark. Halbeath Road. Dunfermline. 3pm. .

ths v Aberdeen Iiaster Road Stadium. Albion Road. Edinburgh. 3pm. Motherwell v Dundee United Fir Park Stadium. Firpark Road. Motherwell. 3pm.

St Johnstone v Kilmarnock McDIamtid Park. Crieff Road. Perth. 3pm. SCOTTISH FIRST DIVISION

1 Ayr United v St Mirren Somerset

Park. Tryfteld Place. A 'r. 3pm. Dundee v Stirling Al ion Dens Park. Sandeman Street. Dundee. 3pm. Hamilton Accies v Airdrie Cliftonhill Stadium. Main Street. Coatbridge. 3pm. Morton v Falkirk Cappielow Park. Sinclair Street. Greenock. 3pm. Partick Thistle v Raith Rovers Firhill Park. Firhill Road. Glasgow. 3pm.

SPORT LISTINGS continued next page 21 Nov—4 Dec 1997 TIIE llST91