FOUR Borders primary school pupils have won the Bill McLaren commentary competition as part of the voice of rugby’s centenary celebrations.

The winners are P4 pupil Cullen Smyth, Wilton, Hawick; P5 Seren Isobel Macdougall, Trinity, Hawick; P6 Isaac Hastie, Edenside, Kelso; and P7 Dan Johnston, St Peter’s, Galashiels.

The competition was launched in a live lesson streamed to more than 1,000 pupils in 45 schools located throughout the Borders on the centenary of McLaren’s birth in October last year.

The pupils were invited to download a video clip, containing only crowd noise, of Tony Stanger scoring the winning try in the 1990 Grand Slam victory over England.

They were asked to record their own commentary from the moment Gary Armstrong put the ball into the scrum through to the try and the subsequent celebrations. The aspiring commentators then had to upload the file for Andrew Cotter, the well-known BBC sports commentator, to select a winner from each age group.

Linda Lawson, McLaren’s daughter and trustee of the Bill McLaren Foundation, said: “The standard was incredibly high and I am sure Dad would be pleased to know that the tradition of rugby commentating is alive and well right here in the Borders”.

One of the winners came up with an observation that was equally as good as McLaren’s famous “dancing in the streets” when the young apprentice reported that Scotland fans were “boogying” in celebration after Stanger scored his try.

The commentary competition was organised by the Bill McLaren Foundation, Scottish Borders Council’s Inspire Learning team and Live Borders. The winners will be the guests of Scottish Rugby in a tour of the Murrayfield Stadium later this term.

Members of the public will be able to enjoy the winning commentaries and record their own commentary when the Bill McLaren Centenary Exhibition re-opens in Hawick Museum on March 1.

The commentary booth in the museum has proved to be one of the more popular exhibits enjoyed by all and especially Sean Fitzpatrick, the All Black rugby legend, during a special trip. As an additional bonus, when the exhibition reopens it will double in size to incorporate Hawick RFC’s 150th anniversary exhibition.

Ian Landles, Hawick Rugby Club president, said: “The outstanding Bill McLaren Centenary Exhibition is a very hard act to follow but we have sprung a few surprises that should intrigue and delight visitors.”

Shona Sinclair, Live Borders museums curator, added: “As part of the exhibition’s support for education, schools can arrange class visits by contacting Live Borders. The Bill McLaren Foundation has a travel bursary in place to help schools outwith Hawick. This is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to learn more about their sporting heritage.”