Mercer Gives Ottawa'S Finest A Lesson In Defence

Some of Ottawa's finest rugby talents from both on and off the field were given a specialist lesson in defence last night when Scotland 'A' team assistant coach, Gary Mercer, shared his knowledge with players and coaches from the local area. Mercer led a session with players from Ottawa Harlequins, a select group of players from the clubs in and around the city. However, it wasn't just players that were present on the back pitches behind Twin Elm Park - the venue of Scotland's first game of the Barclays Churchill Cup against Canada on Saturday - as over 20 coaches joined in to pick up hints and tips from the defence specialist.

Some of Ottawa's finest rugby talents from both on and off the field were given a specialist lesson in defence last night when Scotland 'A' team assistant coach, Gary Mercer, shared his knowledge with players and coaches from the local area.

Mercer led a session with players from Ottawa Harlequins, a select group of players from the clubs in and around the city. However, it wasn't just players that were present on the back pitches behind Twin Elm Park - the venue of Scotland's first game of the Barclays Churchill Cup against Canada on Saturday - as over 20 coaches joined in to pick up hints and tips from the defence specialist.

Assistant coach of the Ottawa Harlequins, Randal Jones, said: "It's a great opportunity for these players to learn new drills from someone of Gary's knowledge and experience. It's also great for the coaches from the clubs around the city to come and learn from an international coach.

There's a wide variety of skill levels in the Harlequins side, so this is a rare treat for them and the coaches here tonight to all improve together under the guidance of someone like Gary."

Mercer added: _x001C_I think the session went very well and I was encouraged by how the players and coaches responded. I like to see players enjoying what they're doing and I hope they got a lot from it.

The coaches had some good questions and I'm glad I was able to contribute to the local rugby scene whilst in Ottawa with the Scotland _x0018_A' squad._x001D_

Scotland A's fixtures at the 2008 Barclays Churchill Cup

Saturday 7 June, Twin Elm Rugby Park, Ottawa - Canada v Scotland A (kick-off 4:30pm local time)
Wednesday 11 June, Richardson Stadium, Kingston - Argentina Pumas v Scotland A (kick-off 4:35pm)
Saturday 21 June, Toyota Park, Chicago - Finals Day

All of Scotland's games will be broadcast live on Sky Sports - see skysports.com for more information.