A FORMER Southern Knights rugby player has been fined after being involved in a bust-up with his partner.

Scrum half Rory Brand was the captain of the Melrose-based semi-professional outfit at the time of the incident in a local hotel where he was staying.

The Glasgow-born 25-year-old – who has been capped 11 times for England under 20s – was ditched by the Knights and is now playing in the fourth tier of English rugby’s pyramid system with Preston Grasshoppers.

Brand was initially charged with assaulting the woman by repeatedly striking her to the head to her injury at The George and Abbotsford Hotel in Melrose, on August 27 last year.

But before the trial was due to get under way at Selkirk Sheriff Court, his not guilty plea to that charge was accepted.

Brand pleaded guilty to a second charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm by making offensive and abusive remarks towards his partner and struggling with her to her injury.

The court heard that an argument developed between the pair when the woman could not find her mobile phone and he would not help her.

The law graduate – who works as a paralegal and gave an address in Wigan, Lancashire – asked for an absolute discharge as a criminal conviction may have had an impact on his legal career.

However, Sheriff Peter Paterson fined him £300 and made a compensation order in favour of the woman for £150.

A non-harassment order was also imposed with Brand banned from having any contact with her for two years.