After three weekend training camps on home soil, Scotland’s under-17 development squad heads south today (Friday 2 April) to take part in the Wellington International Festival, at Wellington College in Berkshire.
Two training camps in Peebles, followed by one at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, during March saw the squad of 26 undergo technical and tactical work as well as bonding as a group of players.
Head coach Bryan Easson said: “The boys were training, for the first time, at a high intensity, both mentally and physically. They each had a minimum of three one to one sessions on goal setting plus lots of game plan presentations."
“These weekends have been an education for the players, to make them aware of what’s required of them at an international level.
“On the first weekend, some of the players were meeting for the first time – by the third weekend they were an integrated squad. Obviously it’s important we get the rugby right but the boys need to bond as a group.”
The training camp schedule involved two warm-up games for the squad, the first against a Borders Select and the second against a Newcastle Academy side.
Added Easson: “The games weren’t about winning or losing so much as giving us the physical test we needed and to check that the players understood the processes of the game."
During the camp, the coaching team was augmented with the arrival of Colin Robertson as backs coach.
Says Easson: “Colin has brought a lot of experience with him, having already coached Scotland under-20, and the players have been learning a lot from him. He is adding to the work done by new forwards coach Ben Fisher."
The squad now faces a demanding Festival schedule when they take on England, France and Canada in the space of eight days.
“We’ll be training on Saturday, have our first game on Sunday [against England] then will educate the boys how to rest, rehabilitate and reflect on the game before our next fixture on Tuesday [against France].”
The final game, next Friday (9 April) against Canada will lead into selection of a squad to attend the summer training camp in Valladolid, Spain.
Scotland under-17 development squad
Scott Steele (Dumfries Academy / Dumfries)
Tommy Allan (RGS High Wycombe)
Sam Hidalgo Clyne (Merchiston Castle School)
Robbie Ferguson (Ayr / Wellington)
Ryan Gray (Musselburgh RFC)
Chris Auld (Dumfries / Austin Friars School)
Michael Binnie (Longridge Towers / Berwick)
Rory Hughes (GHA / Glasgow MET College)
Mike Diponio (St Josephs College)
Burns Singh (Ayr / Wellington)
Keith Buchan (Strathallan / Dunfermline)
James Lightfoot-Brown (Teddington School / Teddington)
Jennifer Dailly – Team manager
Bryan Easson – Head coach
Ben Fisher – Assistant coach
Colin Robertson – Assistant coach
Stevie Scott – CPD coach
Derrick Spiers – Strength & conditioning coach
Jon Turvill – Doctor
Julie Morrow – Physiotherapist
Martin Hastie – Video analyst
Scotland under-17 fixture dates 2010
Wellington International Festival, Saturday 3 to Friday 9 April
Match day 1 - Sunday 4 April v England, kick-off 2pm
Match day 2 - Tuesday 6 April v France, kick-off 12noon
Match day 3 - Friday 9 April v Canada, kick-off 11am
Getting to Wellington College
The College is situated about 35 miles to the south west of London. Rail links are mainly via Reading but also, indirectly, from Waterloo). It’s close to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. It can be reached by road from the M3 or the M4. Log on to http://www.wellingtoncollege.org.uk/page.aspx?id=9 for an access map.