Two of the top-flight under-18 club and schools teams in Scotland will meet next Friday night (24 January).
George Watson’s College, the 2013 Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup champions, will face inaugural Scottish Rugby Youth League champions, Ayr, at the schools’ home turf of Myreside at 7.30pm, a week on Friday.
Scottish Rugby’s head of clubs and schools, Nick Rennie, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the players from some of the best club and school teams in the country to challenge each other to what I’m sure will be a highly competitive and intense match.”
“In the past, there has been little crossover between our schools and the clubs in the boys’ game at this level, so hopefully this will be a stepping-stone towards more matches between the top schools and clubs.
Both George Watson’s College and Ayr have had very good seasons with their under-16 teams also winning the equivalent trophies to their senior teams. This time round only a fixture between the under-18 teams has been arranged.”
George Watson’s College sailed to victory in the schools’ Cup, which culminated at Murrayfield on Wednesday 27 November. They beat the High School of Dundee 31-17 that night.
For Ayr under-18s they won ten of their eleven games, to scoop up the accolades, in the newly introduced Scottish Rugby Youth Leagues.
George Watson’s College director of rugby, Ally Donaldson, said: “It’s great to have an opportunity to play a high-profile match, like this, at this stage of the season. With the Cup being over in the first term we mostly look at development from here on in but a match like this really focuses the mind and will give us a fixture to look forward to and train for.
“We have a big match this week against Stewart’s Melville College also, then we will start preparing for the Ayr match.”
Gordon Kotze, Ayr under-18 head coach, said: “In order to be the best you have to play the best and that is where the original thinking came from to arrange this match.
“As a club and a team we want to challenge our young players and give them the best opportunities to grow, so we are thrilled that George Watson’s College have agreed to play us.
“We have a relatively young team, with more than half our starting XV still under-17. They are a good group of players and we hope we can continue to be successful in the Cup, having won the new Youth League.”
Next Friday’s match at Myreside is a free event and supporters are very welcome to attend.