Scotland squad train with Sharks

Players from the Scotland squad trained with Sharks today on the banks of the Firth of Forth.

The Sharks were the pupils from Buckhaven High School in Fife, who are playing regular rugby fixtures from first year through to the senior team.

Such has been the interest in rugby since teacher Willie Allan sparked interest in the sport more than ten years ago, the number of teams competing at the school has grown, with the latest addition the Buckhaven Sharkettes, a girls’ team for third and fourth year pupils, created through the pupils’ own requests around one year ago.

A great boost

Mr Allan told the Scotland players: “When you win as you did in Italy last weekend it is a great boost to all of us and to have you here today is fantastic.”

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson responded: “It’s important for us to support the work that is being done in schools like Buckhaven by Willie Allan and his colleagues.

“I’m told this is a traditional football area but from what we’ve seen today there’s a fair bit of rugby talent too.”

Staff and pupils from Buckhaven visited Murrayfield Stadium earlier this month and when Scott Johnson heard of the work they are doing to provide regular rugby opportunities he was keen to reciprocate with a visit to the 1,300 pupil school.

Workmen stopped to watch the squad go through their warm-up, then pilot a number of coaching drills with first and second-year boys and third and fourth-year girls.   You can see more on the day on the Scottish Rugby YouTube channel.

Grant Whytock, school head-teacher, said: “The whole school is very excited about the visit of the Scotland rugby squad.  Today our players have picked up some good tips from the professionals that will come in useful for the rest of the season.

“We wish the team all the best for the game against France at Murrayfield next Saturday and thank them for taking the time out to visit us.”

Fit Fifers

Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg told www.scottishrugby.org: “It was great to be able to come along to Buckhaven today to meet the children and have a wee run about with them.

“They were really enthusiastic and it underlined what a good job the school is doing in getting the kids interested in our sport.”

Cllr Mark Hood, Executive Committee spokesperson for Fife Council, said: “As a council we are investing almost £3 million in sport and physical activity over the next year.

"Rugby is very popular in Fife with many Fifers taking part in it on a weekly basis so it's great to welcome members of Scotland's rugby team to Buckhaven High School and give pupils the chance to meet their sporting heroes.

"In Fife we're committed to making it easier for everyone to be fitter and healthier. We don’t just want to inspire and nurture the stars of the future; we want to assist everyone to build their confidence and to access sport or physical activity that is right for them whether it's rugby, football, swimming, basketball or whatever. In doing so we will see real health and social benefits for Fifers.”

Our picture shows Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland back-row forward, David Denton, with the Sharkettes.