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Bates hands Townsend birthday boost

26th April 2007

Border Reivers head coach Steve Bates handed Gregor Townsend a special birthday present today as he named the British Lions stand-off in his starting line-up for tomorrow night's Magners League clash against Cardiff Blues.

Three other new faces join Townsend, who turned 34 today, in tomorrow's side - lock Stuart Grimes, prop Ed Kalman and fellow back, Bryan Rennie.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's game, Bates said: "Things are hotting-up at the top of the table and Cardiff are in the thick of it and are nipping at the heels of The Ospreys, who we've got in the last game of the season.

"We competed well for much of the game against Ulster, despite the final score-line, which shows that we are determined to keep challenging those at the top of the table."

With four additions to the line-up, the six positional changes in the pack see Opeta Palepoi move from lock to flanker and line up beside Kelly Brown who starts the game at openside. John Dalziel makes his first start at no. 8 since February 2006.

In the back division, Garry Law moves in from the wing to fill the outside centre berth with Nick De Luca pulling on the number 11 shirt.

Border Reivers team to play Cardiff Blues in the Magners League at Netherdale on Friday 27 April
(kick-off 7:30pm)

15 Stuart Moffat

14 Dougie Flockhart
13 Garry Law
12 Bryan Rennie
11 Nick De Luca

10 Gregor Townsend
9 Chris Cusiter CAPTAIN *

1 Gavin Kerr
2 Ross Ford *
3 Ed Kalman
4 Stuart Grimes
5 Craig Hamilton
6 Opeta Palepoi
7 Kelly Brown *
8 John Dalziel

16 Steve Scott/Sean Crombie
17 Bruce Douglas
18 Richie Vernon
19 Andy Miller
20 Rob Chrystie
21 Scott Gray
22 Steve Jones

* = Member of Scottish Institute of Sport