2012/13 Elite Development Players Confirmed

Glasgow Warriors today confirmed the 11 Scottish Rugby Elite Development players who will be aligned to the Scotstoun club in season 2012/13.

The players are part of a 26-strong National Elite Development programme, with a further 11 players aligned to Edinburgh Rugby and four to Scotland 7s.

Five of the Warriors group are new entrants to a programme from which RaboDirect PRO12 Young Player of the Season Stuart Hogg emerged in terrific fashion last term.

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Glasgow Warriors today confirmed the 11 Scottish Rugby Elite Development players who will be aligned to the Scotstoun club in season 2012/13.

The players are part of a 26-strong National Elite Development programme, with a further 11 players aligned to Edinburgh Rugby and four to Scotland 7s.

Five of the Warriors group are new entrants to a programme from which RaboDirect PRO12 Young Player of the Season Stuart Hogg emerged in terrific fashion last term.

Centre Bruce Dick and full-back Fraser Thomson (pictured)_have both been brought into the fold after impressing in Premier 1 with Melrose, as have Falkirk stand-off Finn Russell and Hamilton lock Jonny Gray.

Gray, the younger brother of recently departed former Warrior Richie, is currently training and playing in New Zealand having been named as one of the recipients of this year's Macphail Scholarship.

The 18-year-old will return to Glasgow in July to take up his position in the Elite Development programme.

Also coming on board is Currie hooker Fergus Scott, who this week departs for South Africa where he will be representing Scotland under-20 at the IRB Junior World Championship.

Scott is a sibling of Edinburgh Rugby stand-off/centre Matt Scott, who began season 2011/12 as part of the Murrayfield club's Elite Development programme. Like Hogg, he quickly excelled in the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup, was rewarded with a long-term full professional contract and broke into the Scotland team.

Hogg's meteoric rise was one of a number of successes for the Warriors" Elite Development operation last season.

Hooker Finlay Gillies also impressed in the first team and won a full professional contract, while Nick Campbell produced a number of eye-catching displays in the second row and scored a vital try in the historic away win over reigning European champions Leinster.

Campbell, who progressed through the club game with Allan Glen's, Cartha Queens Park and Glasgow Hawks, will be part of the Elite Development programme for the first part of season 2012/13, before turning fully professional at the turn of the year.

Centre James Johnstone, another Currie product, will be engaged on the same terms.

Scrum-half Murray McConnell and tight-head prop George Hunter, both of whom have captained Scotland under-20, will also be involved in the programme again in the coming season. McConnell made his RaboDirect PRO12 debut away to Scarlets in January, while Hunter has been part of the match-day 23 on three occasions.

The other two Warriors Elite Development players for 2012/13 are Adam Ashe, a back-rower who was part of the Scotland 7s squad last term, and 18-year-old Callum Templeton. The lock/loose forward, originally from Dumfries, plays his club rugby for Ayr.

All Elite Development players will benefit from training with the full Warriors squad as well as one-to-one guidance from Elite Development coach Iain Monaghan and a variety of specialist coaches. They will also be available to play club rugby subject to their Warriors commitments.

Monaghan told www.glasgowwarriors.org: "We"re delighted with the quality of player we"re able to name in the Elite Development programme for the coming season.

'these guys have been brought in on the basis that we believe they have the potential to become world class professional players for Glasgow Warriors, and we look forward to working with, supporting and challenging them to ensure they fulfil that potential.

'the five players who will be joining the programme for the first time deserve the chance to demonstrate they have what it takes to thrive in making the step up to the professional environment from the club game and Regional Academy programme.

"It's important for players in the club game and age-grade pathway to have something to aspire to, and you only need to look at how guys like Stuart Hogg, Finlay Gillies and Nick Campbell have seized their opportunity to see what's possible for players with the right ability and attitude.

"It's really exciting for Glasgow Warriors to have a talented, hungry crop of young men on our books, headed up by the players who have already been part of the Elite Development programme and are coming back to develop and improve again this season."

SCOTTISH RUGBY ELITE DEVELOPMENT PLAYERS ALIGNED TO GLASGOW WARRIORS IN SEASON 2012/13

Position and club most recently represented listed in brackets

Adam Ashe (Back-row, Stirling County)
Nick Campbell (Lock, Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
Bruce Dick (Centre, Melrose)
Jonny Gray (Lock, Hamilton)
George Hunter (Prop, Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks)
James Johnstone (Centre, Glasgow Warriors/Currie)
Murray McConnell (Scrum-half, Glasgow Warriors/Ayr)
Finn Russell (Stand-off, Falkirk)
Fergus Scott (Hooker, Currie)
Callum Templeton_(Lock/back-row, Glasgow Warriors/Ayr)
Fraser Thomson (Full-back,_Melrose)