Brightest prospects given golden opportunity

Some 30 of Scotland’s most exciting young rugby players have been selected for Scottish Rugby’s 2013/14 Regional Academy, supported by sportscotland.
 
Scott BurnsideThe players have been chosen from Scotland’s four age-grade teams from under-16 to under-20 level with their performances in club and school rugby as well as their international form being taken into consideration.

The selection process for the season began in December 2012 and after consultation involving Scottish Rugby’s Regional Academy coaches and all National Age Grade coaches the final squad of 30 was confirmed at the beginning of June 2013.

When all 30 return to their schools and clubs we will see 17 players based in the East regions of Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Borders, six players based in the West region and seven players based in the Caledonia region.

Scottish Rugby’s Senior Regional Academy Manager, Grant McKelvey, said: “We have been through a rigorous selection process and have brought together a strong group of players for this season’s Regional Academy Programme.

“For the first time, we have three exiles who have come north of the border to forward their rugby career. They are Grant McConnell, Robbie Tait and Ben Vellacot, who will be involved with three of the clubs in the Capital.

“All home based players are currently going through our national Regional Academy pre-season programme in July and August and we look forward to working with the players and their respective school and club coaches throughout the coming year.
 
“Our aim is to develop each individual, to be in a position, hopefully to contend for elite development contracts with our two pro-teams in the future.”
 
Scottish Rugby's Regional Academy strives to provide the best environment for young Scottish players to develop their skills, disciplines, knowledge and attitude and achieve their full rugby playing potential.
 
Regional Academy players will play the majority of their rugby with clubs and schools with their individual playing and training programmes managed by Regional Academy Coaches and supported by the sportscotland Institute of Sport Network.
 
2013/14 Regional Academy Players (supported by sportscotland Institute of Sport):
 
Stephen Ainslie – Loretto School / Berwick – Lock
Lyall Archer – Highland – Prop
Chris Barnes – Glasgow Hawks – Prop
Jamie Bhatti – Stirling County – Prop
Scott Burnside – Heriot’s – Back-row
Lewis Carmichael – Edinburgh Accies – Lock
James Couper – GHA – Wing
Scott Cummings – Kelvinside Academy / Glasgow Hawks – Lock
Cameron Fenton – Strathallan School / Howe of Fife - Prop
Hugh Fraser – Merchiston Castle School – Scrum-half
George Horne – Currie – Stand-off
Damien Hoyland – Melrose – Wing
Ben Johnston – Marr – Flanker
Chris Jollands – High School of Dundee – Flanker
Jake Kerr – George Watson’s College – Hooker
Karl Main – Currie – Back-row
James Malcolm – Ayr – Hooker
*Grant McConnell – Currie – Full-back
Andrew McWilliam – Currie – Prop
Saul Melvin-Farr – Edinburgh Academy – Wing
Zach Mercer – Williamwood High School – Number 8
Ally Miller – George Watson’s College – Back-row
Robbie Nairn – Currie High School / Currie – Wing
Angus Neilson – The Glasgow Academy / Glasgow Hawks – Flanker
Angus Rennie – Aberdeen Grammar – Wing
Jamie Ritchie – Strathallan School / Howe of Fife – Lock
*Robbie Tait – Heriot’s – Flanker
Richard Taylor – Loretto School / Melrose – Centre
Cameron Turner – Aberdeen Grammar – Lock / Back-row
*Ben Vellacot – Edinburgh Accies – Scrum-half